The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

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

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About NINO Near Eastern Library

The NINO library is an academic research library, open for the public but mostly used by researchers and students from Leiden University and other universities in the Netherlands and abroad – we welcome an average of 9,000 visitors yearly. The collection is directly accessible for visitors and meant primarily for study purposes; books cannot be borrowed. The NINO library collection contains an increasing number of digital resources.

The main fields of interest are Egyptology, Assyriology, archaeology, and the Ancient Near East in general. Other subjects are the Middle East, including Turkey, Iran, Islamic art and architecture, Hebrew studies and archaeological reports from the Levant area (F. Scholten collection). Since 2000 acquisition is mainly restricted to the fields of Egyptology, Assyriology and archaeology of the Near East.

The library includes special collections on travel literature and country descriptions, as well as the legacies of G.H. de Knegt (Egyptian art), R. Hoogland (Islamic art and architecture), D. van der Meulen (travel literature), and the Rudolph Said-Ruete/Seyyidah Salme collection (Near and Middle East). It also hosts an impressive collection of dynamic and static periodicals for all the categories available in the collection. Beside publications in western languages there are many publications in Hebrew, Arabic, Persian and Turkish and several other non-western languages.

The collection, about 44,000 titles, consists of monographs and periodicals, all catalogued. The online catalogue is available via the search box (top of this page), or through, under the subcategory “Leiden collections” > “NINO Library”. Visitors can consult this catalogue on two computers in the library.

As of 2018 the NINO Near Eastern Library is curated by Leiden University Libraries (UBL). As part of this new collaboration, the library now operates with twice its old acquisition budget for publications on the Ancient Near East and related subjects. The improved financial basis guarantees the maintenance and further expansion of the collections including e-publications.

Coming in 2024: Middle Eastern Library

Leiden University is currently realizing a new Humanities Campus on and around the Witte Singel. As part of this project, the NINO library and offices will move to new premises in 2024, together with Leiden University’s academic staff in the relevant fields. The new location is the Herta Mohr building, 150 metres away from NINO’s present building.

The NINO library collections are being integrated in the Middle Eastern Library. The Herta Mohr building is connected to the main UBL building by an indoor footbridge. Visitors to the NINO library collections in the MEL will enjoy significantly extended opening hours, including weekends, and will gain access to a range of other services compliant with UBL policy.

Follow @middleeasternlibraryleiden on Instagram and @MELibraryNL on Twitter for updates on Leiden University’s new Middle Eastern Library (MEL), into which the NINO Library is being integrated.


Useful links

Other academic libraries in Leiden

The library of the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) is open to students and researchers. It holds more than 30,000 titles on the museum’s collecting areas, including Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East. Please visit the RMO website for more information on opening hours and policy.

Opening hours

The NINO Library is open Monday to Friday 9.00–17.00 hrs.


Ongoing preparations for the move to our new premises may cause nuisance. Through June 2024 all NINO Library items are being renumbered and placed at a different, temporary location in our current library.

The move of the NINO Near Eastern Library is planned for 15–29 July 2024.

The NINO library collections will be fully integrated into UBL’s Middle Eastern Library, located in the Herta Mohr Building. We expect the process to be complete at the end of July or beginning of August 2024.

Please note that dates are approximate and may be subject to change. Read more here.


Upcoming closing dates in 2024:

  • Monday 15–Friday 29 July 2024: move of all open shelf publications to MEL Reading Room; move of selected NINO Library journals and series to Main University Library’s Open Stack “SUB”
    ESTIMATED TIME for the move & rearrangement of all books is TWO WEEKS, during which the library is inaccessible!
  • Thursday 3–Friday 4 October: Relief of Leiden (3 October 1574)
  • Wednesday 25 December 2024–Wednesday 1 January 2025: Christmas and New Year

Catalogue and New Acquisitions

The NINO Library catalogue is part of Leiden University Libraries’ catalogue. Our collection is marked Leiden Collections: NINO Library. Use the search box above to search specifically in our collection.

New books in the NINO Near Eastern Library are listed as New acquisitions on the Ancient Near East (incl. Egypt), part of Leiden University Libraries acquisitions lists.

Practical information

The NINO Near Eastern Library does not loan out books and journal volumes. NINO Library collection items that have been relocated to Leiden University Libraries Closed Stack are available for loan; special items (rare/old publications) can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room. Each item’s availability is indicated in the catalogue.

A multifunctional machine is available in the NINO Library for photocopying and scanning, to be used with a valid LU-Card.

Work stations (computers) in all university libraries, including the NINO Library, can only be used with an ULCN account/LU Card. Wifi is available with eduroam.


Postal address

P.O.Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

T+31 (0)71-527 20 39
EAnita Keizers, Subject Librarian Ancient Near East
EMariëtte Keuken, Subject Librarian Egyptology
EOdile Hoogzaad, Library assistant

See also Staff (contact information).