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Queen Máxima to open Asian Library

Queen Máxima will open Leiden University's new Asian Library in a ceremony in the Pieterskerk on 14 September. The Library houses important collections on Asia.

Queen Máxima will play the key role in opening ceremony of the Asian Library on the morning of 14 September. The Queen is patroness of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). The KITLV collection is part of the collection of the Asian Library. Before the arrival of the Queen, guests can enjoy a programme of Balinese dance and gamelan music from 10 o'clock. 

Queen Máxima in 2013 at the opening of the new tropical greenhouses in the Hortus Botanicus.

Lecture, presentations and music

Besides the opening ceremony by the Queen, the programme in the Pieterskerk includes a lecture and several presentations. The lecture will be given by historian Peter Frankopan on Asia and the making of the modern world. Frankopan is a historian at the University of Oxford and Visiting Scaliger Professor in Leiden. He is the author of the much-praised book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. Kurt De Belder, Director of Leiden University Libraries, will give a presentation on the Asian Library and its rich collections. The new book Voyage of Discovery; Exploring the Collections of the Asian Library, edited by Alexander Reeuwijk, will also be launched. The programme will be interspersed by musical performances and will close with a walking lunch for all invitees. 

Tour of Asia and reception

The second part of the opening event will follow in the afternoon: a Tour of Asia comprising a number of parallel activities at different locations, including the Rapenburg, the Hortus Botanicus, the Lipsius Building and the University Library. There will be something to suit all tastes: lectures, country updates, exhibitions, tours, films, music, panel discussions and workshops on the theme of Asia.

The third part of the programme will bring the afternoon to a close: a reception with drinks and canapés in the University Library, from 16.30 to 18.30 hrs.


Registration is required for anyone who wishes to take part in any or all of the three parts of the programme: the ceremony in the Pieterskerk, the Tour of Asia and/or the reception.

The Asian Library: 30 kilometres of research material
The Asian Library at Leiden University, located in a new extension on top of the University Library at Witte Singel, is a treasure house for national and international researchers and students of Asian languages and cultures. The Asian Library holds important collections on South and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea. The collection on Indonesia is the world's largest.  The library has over 30 kilometres of unique research material available for research and teaching on Asia: from prints, books and photos to manuscripts, films and maps. The new Asian Library offers modern facilities, including study and conference rooms and a film room.

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