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08 Sep 2017

Leiden Asia Year and grand opening of new Asian Library in Leiden



After three years of planning and construction, Leiden University's new Asian Library is ready. Bringing together various important collections on Asia, the Asian Library holds the largest collection on Indonesia worldwide, and some of the foremost collections on South and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea. To mark the achievement, Leiden University is celebrating the whole of 2017 as the ‘Leiden Asia Year’.

The Executive Board of Leiden University warmly welcomes all to attend the official and festive Grand Opening on 14 September 2017.

The Grand Opening Day will start at 10am in the Pieterskerk (Peter’s Church), with a keynote speech by renowned global historian Peter Frankopan, musical performances, a presentation of the Asian Library and its rich collections, and the launch of the book Voyage of Discovery. Exploring the Collections of the Asian Library. After a walking lunch, the programme is resumed in the afternoon with an informative and fascinating 'Tour of Asia' in and around Leiden University's central locations. Various parallel events will be held at different locations, including the IIAS office, and will involve lectures, country updates, exhibitions, tours, contemporary Asian films, music, workshops, panel discussions and much more.

Leiden Asia Week (13-17 September)


The following events are scheduled in the week of the Grand Opening.

13 Sept: De-bordering Asia - Graduate conference

14 Sept: Grand Opening of the Asian Library and ‘Tour of Asia’ festival

14-17 Sept: Middle Period Chinese Humanities – International conference

15-16 Sept: Mapping Asia: Cartographic Encounters between East & West – International conference

16 Sept: Night of Arts and Sciences – Cultural festival with acts and performances

To mark the achievement, Leiden University is celebrating the whole of 2017 as the ‘Leiden Asia Year’. Working together with other Asia-oriented institutes in Leiden as well as with the Leiden municipality, so far the agenda of the Leiden Asia Year has already featured over 70 events, with a further 40 still scheduled to take place, including the library’s Grand Opening.

The Asian Library


In 2014, Leiden University decided to build a new Asian Library to bring together under one roof all of the collections of the various Leiden University libraries on China, Japan, Korea, India and Indonesia. Also included are the Heritage Collection of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam and the library of the Leiden-based Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV). Adding up to over 30km in length, the collections of the Asian Library belong to the most important worldwide, both in quantity and quality.

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