We are seeking additional partners to support our plans with regard to the digitization of our Asian collections, The Asian Library international fellowship programme and a named curatorship for digitized and bond-digital Asian collections.

Enlargement and digitization of our collections

Building on already internationally renowned Asian collections, Leiden University Libraries enlarged its Asian collections significantly in 2013 and 2014 by incorporating the heritage collection of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the collection of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). By bringing all of these collections together, one of the largest and most significant Asian collections in the Western world has been formed. Leiden University holds not only one of the leading Chinese collections in the Western world, the largest South Asia collection in Europe and the internationally unique Korean and Japanese collections, but now also holds the largest collection on Indonesia worldwide.

We have not only consolidated these collections but we are creating new alliances and partners that will support our collections. Among others, we have become one of the fourteen Taiwan Resource Centers for Chinese Studies and we have partnered with the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) to support the ICAS Book Prize, internationally the most prestigious book prize for Asian Studies.

In addition to the paper collections, Leiden University Libraries also acquired the complete digitized collections (books, newspapers, magazines, photos and maps) of the KIT and KITLV libraries. These digital collections present important resources of information on Asia that are already being used worldwide and free of charge. Leiden University Libraries is now implementing new technological infrastructure to bring all of these digital collections together and to create more possibilities for presentation, access and sharing. We hope to show you these new possibilities in 2016. Furthermore, Leiden University Libraries wants to digitize the collections of The Asian Library on a large scale and increase dramatically the access to Asian cultural heritage and important documents worldwide. We are looking for partners and funding to support this ambitious digitization project.


If you are interested in partnering with or funding aspects of The Asian Library, please do not hesitate to contact Kurt de Belder, Director Leiden University Libraries & Leiden University Press, at or by phone +31 71 5272831.


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