The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

Organisation and structure of NINO

The Netherlands Institute for the Near East, located at Leiden University, is a national centre for studies of the Ancient Near East including Egypt. Our organisation, structure, components, assets, and partners are described below.


Our main partners are:

Leiden University

The NINO Research Centre is part of the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) at the Faculty of Humanities.

The NINO Near Eastern Library is curated by Leiden University Libraries (UBL).

National Museum of Antiquities (RMO), Leiden

A number of highlights from our Böhl Collection are on permanent display in the Ancient Near East galleries. The collection is curated in cooperation with RMO.

Peeters Publishers, Leuven

NINO’s book series and journals are published and distributed by Peeters Publishers.

Ex Oriente Lux, the Netherlands

Dedicated to public engagement and disseminating knowledge on the ancient Near East and Egypt, EOL’s association and partnership with NINO dates back to our foundation in 1939.

Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (Los Angeles, Oxford, and Berlin)

The cuneiform inscriptions of NINO’s De Liagre Böhl Collection are entered into CDLI. Digital images, handcopies, transliterations, translations, and references to literature are available in open access through the CDLI website. Collection highlights on permanent display at RMO are also on the RMO website.


NINO participates in the following partnerships:


Aimed at raising the impact of scholarship, LeidenGlobal strengthens the cooperation between leading academic and cultural institutions. As a collaborative effort of institutes, LeidenGlobal develops a dynamic program of research in comparative area studies and organises various public events.

Stichting Academisch Erfgoed (SAE)

As a partnership between Dutch university heritage professionals, the SAE represents and promotes the interest of the academic heritage in the administrative circuit, in government institutions and within the heritage sector.

Structure of NINO: components

Library and library collections

The NINO Near Eastern Library is curated by Leiden University Libraries (UBL). Our two Subject Librarians and one Document Processing & Metadata Staff Member are permanent UBL staff. Our library, located in one of the buildings adjacent to the main University Library, functions as one of UBL’s specialised subject libraries. Together with the specialised library on the Modern Middle East, it will form Leiden University’s Middle Eastern Library (MEL) for which new premises are projected. We expect to move into our new building (again adjacent to the main University Library) ca. 2023.

As part of this collaboration, the NINO library collections are given on loan to Leiden University Libraries, and now operate with double our former acquisitions budget. New acquisitions are shared property between NINO and UBL.

Research centre with collections and archives

The NINO Research Centre is part of the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University. Our Director is a staff member of LIAS; the directorship is a rotating position. Our Secretary and Publications Officer is a permanent staff member; we regularly employ post docs, student assistants and volunteers for specified periods.

We offer several funding opportunities for students and scholars in studies of the Ancient Near East incl. Egypt. Applications are reviewed by our Academic Committee, a dedicated search committee (post doc positions) or jury (Thesis Prizes, Jaarprijs Cuijpers-Opdenakker), and/or the Director. As staff members of the NINO Research Centre, the Director and Secretary execute the decisions taken by the Committee; they have an advisory role in the meetings. In addition to evaluating applications, the Committee may advise on matters of scientific policy of the NINO Research Centre.

The Centre is the editorial office for all NINO publications, which are published by Peeters, Leuven. Authors may contact the various Editorial Boards directly or through Editorial Secretary Carolien van Zoest. Sales, subscriptions, and online access is handled by Peeters.

NINO’s collection of cuneiform inscriptions and related antiquities, the Böhl Collection, is curated in cooperation with the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO). A number of highlights from the collection is on display in its permanent exhibition. The Böhl Collection is mainly a research, study, and teaching collection, accessible to scholars and students.

NINO’s archives (including Böhl papers, Institute archives, De Buck Archive) and collections (including Böhl Collection, glass slides collection) will move to the UBL archives when we move into our new premises (adjacent to the main University Library) ca. 2023.

Foundation NINO

The owner of NINO’s collections (library, antiquities, and archival collections) and publications is the Foundation NINO. The Foundation, established 1939, is governed by a Board of Governors (formerly called Curatorium) which acts as advisory board to the Research Centre.

The Foundation NINO is a “Public Benefit Organisation” (ANBI) under Dutch law. Information relevant to the ANBI status is found on this page.


The Netherlands Institute for the Near East was founded in 1939. It created subsidiary institute The Netherlands Institute in Turkey (in Istanbul) 1958.

As of January 2018 the Foundation NINO entered into a close cooperation agreement with Leiden University and the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden.

More on the history of NINO can be read in our jubilee publication “Waar de geschiedenis begon” (2014), pp. 3-29.