The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

De Liagre Böhl collection

NINO is the owner of approximately 3000 cuneiform tablets of Sumerian and Babylonian/Assyrian origin, the largest collection of its kind in The Netherlands. The collection was brought together in the 1920s and ‘30s by F.M.Th. de Liagre Böhl, Professor of Assyriology at Leiden University and Co-Director of NINO 1939-1955. Diverse text genres are present in the tablet collection: literary texts, omens, incantations, archival texts etc. In addition to the tablets, the collection includes a smaller number of seals, bullae, terracottas and other objects.

The tablets are being transcribed, translated, and published in order to make them available for scholars and students. The NINO series Tabulae... Liagre Böhl (TLB) and Studia... Liagre Böhl (SLB) are publications and studies of (groups of) tablets in the collection. More unpublished information on the collection is kept in the Institute.

A number of highlights from the collection are on permanent view in the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in Leiden. In 2014-’15 our jubilee exhibition “75 jaar NINO” at the Museum featured more highlights from the collection.

Access to the collection

Scholars who wish to study objects in the Böhl Collection: please refer to our Rules for access to the Böhl Collection (pdf) and contact Dr W. Waal

In 2018-2019 we are preparing an online catalogue of all clay tables in the Böhl Collection. The project is headed by Dr Jeanette Fincke. In collaboration with RMO, specialized restorer Carmen Gütschow (Berlin) is treating all tablets in need of stabilisation and restoration.

The collection will move to RMO in 2019 for conservation and will remain accesible to scholars and students.


Example of a digitised cuneiform tablet: LB 1090

We are working towards digitising the cuneiform tablets in the best possible way and resolution. A promising pilot project has been conducted using the Portable Light Dome system operated by H. Hameeuw (Leuven and Brussels).

The example of LB 1090 is presented here as a pdf file. This is the simplest and surest way of storing and presenting the recorded object data. A more visually attractive way is to consult the interactive file using the Minidome Viewer at its own website:

  1. Download the interactive zun file for LB 1090 onto your computer;
  2. Surf to the URL of the online viewer at;
  3. Click on ‘open local file’ (top right) and choose the zun file you have stored on your computer.

Uploading and visualising the results may take up to several minutes. The online viewer works with all internet browsers that support WebGL (currently all mainstream browsers; older browsers may not work).

For (technical) background information on the Portable Light Dome, please refer to: