Donation by Minerva alumni enables the acquisition of Woodbury glass positives for the Asian Library

On Wednesday 28 January Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker and University Librarian Kurt De Belder received a donation for the Asian Library from Jan Kalff, Jochem Helb, and Frits Kalff – representatives of the Minerva quinquennial anniversary committee 1955. This donation will partly enable the acquisition of around 100 Woodbury glass positives and a projector from circa 1865. The collection concerns mostly glass positives with images from the Dutch Indies.IMG_6163

The collection contains around 100 Woodbury glass positives with images from the Dutch Indies created circa 1865 and an original Woodbury projector. All the glass positives have been marked with the name ‘Woodbury Lantern Slide’. The collection is a fantastic acquisition and substantially enlarges the current glass plates collection on the Dutch Indies, which contains 463 glass positives and 3813 glass negatives. The projector, which could be used to share these ‘lantern slides’ with a larger audience, is also a wonderful addition to our collection of old photo cameras and projectors.

Woodbury (& Page)IMG_0115
Walter Bentley Woodbury (1834-1885) was one of the most important pioneers in photography, both as a photographer and an innovator. His Woodburytype was the first perfectly photomechanical reproduction method. This process was a breakthrough in photography and was used globally from 1870 until 1900, particularly for book illustrations, but also for high quality portrait pictures. In 1856 Woodbury travelled to the Dutch Indies from Australia in the company of James Page and started a photo studio in Batavia. After W. Woodbury returned to Great Britain his brother took over the photo studio. They still collaborated long distance. The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) possesses a Woodbury (& Page) core collection with over 2300 photographs and slides created by this renowned photographer, which is managed by the UBL.

Glass positivesWoodbury1
Glass positives were the high-quality forerunners of the colour slides Kodak started to produce in the early 1930s. The image quality of slides is strikingly sharply defined. Glass, or diapositives, are exceptionally rare, as the material is very fragile and thus has not been preserved well. These glass plates are so special because each slide contains.

Final Design of The Asian Library


On 29 October 2015, the two architects, Katja Hogenboom and Jasper Felsch, presented the Final Design of The Asian Library to Leiden University faculty and staff of Leiden University Libraries.

There are 3 phases in realizing physical facilities for The Asian Library:

Phase 1: Open Stacks
Refurbishment of open stack area into an open stack library for mainly Asian collections and non-Asian periodicals (5 km of shelving space) and 30 study spaces. (ready summer 2015)

Phase 2: Book depository & back office
Creation of 37 km of shelving in Van Steenis. Move ‘low use’ materials from UB to depository. Centralizing UBL back office functions (metadata & acquisitions) to Van Steenis. (ready end of 2015)

Phase 3: Construction of The Asian Library Final Design Asian Library
The Asian Library will be built on top of the University Library.  Construction will start March 2016 and the new building will be ready March 2017. The Asian Library opens to the public in the second quarter 2017.The official and festive opening is planned September 2017.


Presentations Final Design of The Asian Library:

Presentation Final Design Asian Library – General Introduction
Presentation Final Design Asian Library – Part 2
Presentation Final Design Asian Library – Part 3
Presentation Final Design Asian Library – Part 4
Presentation Final Design Asian Library – Part 5
Presentation Final Design Asian Library – Part 6


7th International Indology Graduate Research Symposium in Leiden

IMG_2434 (2)The 7th International Indology Graduate Research Symposium (IIGRS) took place from 15th – 17th  October 2015 in Leiden. The conference was part of the celebration of 150 years of Sanskrit at Leiden University. The participants of the conference did also visit the special exposition ‘Sanskrit Manuscripts and Old Books‘ at the Leiden University Library.

IN THE MEDIA – Krachtig verbond tussen universiteit en Indonesië

Foto bij artikel Leidsch Dagblad Symposium(Leidsch Dagblad – Friday August 28, 2015)
The biggest research library on Indonesia is now situated in Leiden. Leiden University also wants to strengthen its ties with this country. The plans with Indonesia were presented at the symposium on August 28. The strong bond between Leiden University and Indonesia can be traced back to the 19th century, when the university started to become the centre of academic research on the Dutch East Indies.

> Read more (in Dutch)

Commission of the Indonesian House of Representatives


Today we welcomed Commission Ten of The Indonesian House of Representatives in the Leiden University Library. This Commission is responsible for education, youth affairs, sports, tourism, art and culture in Indonesia. After a presentation about the UBL and The Asian Library, some unique objects from our Southeast Asian Special Collections were put on display for our guests to study.

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Marrik Bellen new director of KITLV-Jakarta and representative in Indonesia

Marrik BellenIndonesia is of great importance to Leiden University for research and education. Therefore the new KITLV director in Jakarta is also the permanent representative of Leiden university in Indonesia. The responsibilities of the new director are broadened and include support from Jakarta for the initiation of research programs in collaboration with Indonesian partners, and attracting Indonesian students to Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs at Leiden University.

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Winners of the ICAS Book Prize 2015

Winner social sciencesThe International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), the premier international gathering in Asian Studies and Asia-related research, has awarded the ICAS Book Prize (IBP) 2015. The prize recognizes the best English-language books and dissertations in Asian Studies of the past two years, focusing on the humanities and social sciences. The Asian Library at Leiden University sponsors the ICAS Book Prize.

> Read more


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