The main part of the Special Collections is registered in the catalogue and can be requested through the ‘document request’ function. After your request has been handled, you will receive a message asking you to make an appointment with the curator.
If you are not a member of the library, you can also request documents by contacting the curator.


The materials in the Special Collections are not available for loan and may only be consulted under supervision in the Special Collections reading room. 

Many of the major reference works are available in the reading room and can be freely consulted.

Book rests, snake weights, magnifying glasses, pencils and acid-free paper strips are available in the reading room.

Not all material can be freely consulted. Special permission from the curator may be needed for consulting especially vulnerable or valuable material.

Reading Room Regulations

Rare and valuable material should be handled with great care. That is why we ask every visitor to obey the following house rules.


  • Upon arrival in the Special Collections Reading Room please report to the desk. A staff member will register your details in our visitors log.
  • Consultation is only possible after making an appointment. If you arrive unannounced, the library staff cannot ensure immediate service.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the reading room.
  • Coats and bags are preferably stored in the lockers on the ground floor or left in the cupboards at the entrance to the reading room.

Handling valuable material

  • To consult a book use thebook rests and snake weights that are available in the reading room.
  • Only pencils and laptops may be used for taking notes. Other writing material is not allowed.
  • It is not permitted to lean on the books, to hold them in your lap or against the edge of the table.
  • Open volumes should never be laid face down on the table.
  • To mark a place in a book you can use the acid-free paper strips that are available at the reading room desk. The use of other materials (post-its, etc.) is not allowed.
  • The consulted works may never leave the room under any condition whatsoever.
  • The material you are consulting should not be left unattended. If you wish to leave the reading room for a longer period of time, you must hand in the material at the desk.