Europe - Netherlands

East Asian Library, Leiden University -- Phase 1 --


Library Home Page: East Asian Library


Arsenaalstraat 1, P.O.Box 9515, 2300 RA, LEIDEN, The Netherlands


Nadia Kreeft (Ms)
Subject Librarian Japanese and Korean Studies
Tel. +31 71 527-6134 Fax: +31-71-5272215

Size of collection

approx. 50 titles in 300 volumes, mainly xylographs
Some maps and manuscripts available

Collection description

The collection of old books present at the Centre for Japanese and Korean Studies is only a small part of Leiden University collection of old Japanese books and maps. The origins of the Japanese collection in Leiden is divers, most items are collected by persons as Cock Blomhoff, Overmeer Fisscher, and Donker Curtius, chiefs of the trading post on Deshima in the bay of Nagasaki during the early 19th century. But the most famous collector of the collection is Philipp Franz von Siebold, physician at Deshima, who collected many items, among which books and maps. The whole collection was divided during the end of the 19th century in roughly two parts, one to be found in the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, and one in the Central Library of Leiden University.

Only a small part can be found in the Centre. For example there are some instruction books in the Dutch language, like 和蘭文典 and 三語便覧. A part of the collection consists of books on botany collected by the brothers Verdoorn. Each year the collection grows by a few items through gifts and acquisitions.

Access to bibliographic data

Online catalogues
1)Access Library Catalog
2)Click 'special collections': at the top
3)Search for whatever title, author or subject you're looking for
4)When you have your search results, click 'east Asian Library' under 'collection' at the left side. Typing Japanese characters is possible.

B)Printed catalogues
The collection can be found in Catalogue of pre-Meiji Japanese books and maps in public collections in the Netherlands = オランダ国内所蔵明治以前日本関係コレクション目録 by H. Kerlen. Amsterdam, 1994.
The above mentioned edition is a completely revised and enlarged edition of Bibliothèque Japonaise : catalogue raisonné des livres et des manuscrits japonais enrégistrés à la Bibliothèque de l'Université de Leyde par L. Serrurier. Leyde : E.J. Brill, 1896.

How can researchers gain access to the material?

Researchers are welcome on Monday and Friday between 9.00 and 17.00 and Tuesday to Thursday between 9.00 and 19.00 Please contact Nadia Kreeft beforehand.


The person in charge for the Asian collection of old books, maps and manuscripts in the Central Library:
Dr Arnoud Vrolijk
Universiteitsbibliotheek, Witte Singel 26-27,room number 207 2311 BG Leiden
tel: +31 (0)71 527 2867

Person in charge for Chinese and Japanese collection of old books, maps and manuscripts in the East Asian Library, in particular the Van Gulik collection:
Koos Kuiper
Arsenaalstraat 1, P.O. Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden
tel +31 71 527 2534

Is reproduction of the material permitted ?

Usually, taking pictures in the archive is permitted, but only with the explicit permission of the curator or librarian.