Practical information

Make the most of your library! Anyone can use the library to search for information or to browse through books - but to borrow items you need to join the library.

Joining the library | Opening hours | Facilities | Fees and charges | Borrowing from our collection | Borrowing from another library | Acquisition suggestions | Gifts | Address

Joining the library

The library is open to all and anyone can become a member. A membership card (lenerspas) is required to borrow books and other materials. To become a member, proof of identification will be requested. Accepting the membership card implies acceptance of the borrowing regulations of the ASCL Library. Membership is free for Leiden University staff, Leiden University students, and several other categories. Check the information about the library card of Leiden University Libraries.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9.00 - 17.00

Closures 2024:

  • Fr. 29 March - Good Friday
  • Mo. 1 April - Easter Monday
  • Th. 9 May and Fr. 10 May - Ascension Day
  • Mo. 20 May - Pentecost Monday
  • Th. 3 and Fr. 4 October - Leidens Ontzet
  • We. 25 December 2024 up to and including We. 1 January 2025 - Christmas Holidays (library opens on Thursday 2 January 2025)


  • Five user terminals.microfiche reader
  • Study/reading room.
  • Photocopier (€ 0,05 per page).
  • Microfiche reader/printer (paid).
  • Microfilm reader.
  • Video player.
  • External DVD Drive (can be borrowed together with a DVD).
  • Wheelchair accessible.

Special services

  • Sending/faxing photocopies (€ 0,50 per photocopy, € 2,50 administration costs plus postage).
  • Compiling literature lists (a brief overview of titles available on a specific topic in the collection will be sent on request via e-mail, this service is free) (a printed literature list costs € 0,50 per page € 2,50 administration costs plus postage)
  • Guided tour of the library for groups, by appointment.

Contact the library phone +31 (0)71-527 3354 or e-mail to make an appointment or to order photocopies.

Fees and charges

Payments can be made with a debit card or cash.

  • Copying/printing: € 0.05 per page (self-service photocopier)
  • Sending/faxing photocopies: € 0.50 per page ( + € 2.50 administration costs plus postage)
  • Fines: € 5 for each overdue book; a minimum of € 35 for a lost book or DVD

Borrowing from our collection

You need a library card to borrow publications from the ASCL. 10 items (books or DVDs) may be borrowed from the library at any one time.

The loan period is 3 weeks. Renewal for a further 3 weeks is possible unless the book has been reserved by another borrower. You can renew your own borrowed items via the online library catalogue (sign into your account and select items under the loans/active loans tab). Loans may be renewed up to 6 times. You can also ask for an extension of the loan period by e-mail, at the library’s circulation desk or by telephone (071-527 3354) during library opening hours.

Borrowers are responsible for returning or renewing a book on time. Borrowers who fail to return books or renew loans on time will receive an overdue notice (rappel) from the library, usually via e-mail. Borrowers must return borrowed books (or extend the loan period) on receipt of the first notice (3 weeks after the loan date). A second notice will be sent 1 week after the first notice. It is no longer possible to extend the loan period via OPAC once a second notice has been dispatched. Failure to return a book after the dispatch of a second notice will result in the suspension of the borrower’s library card and no further loans will be permitted. After the dispatch of the third reminder about overdue items, a fine of € 5 per book will be charged. If there is no response to reminders, a new copy of all overdue items will be purchased at the borrower’s expense.

Borrowing from another library

Books and articles can be ordered from another library via interlibrary loans (ILL)

ILL costs:

  • ordering a new book: € 6.50 per book
  • ordering copies or scans: € 6.50 per article (for the first 10 pages and € 0.65 for each additional page)
  • ordering a DVD: € 6.50 per DVD
  • ordering from overseas: € 16.00
  • for expedited service, costs are doubled

For for a complete list of ILL prices see price list.

All costs must be paid in advance.

Acquisition suggestions

If you cannot find a title in the ASCL collection, please use this form to contact the library staff.


The library receives and processes many gifts each year, including books, periodicals, videos and other library materials. These gifts help us to add depth to the collection and replace worn-out and lost books and journals.
To make a donation to the African Studies Centre Leiden library, please contact:

The library is particularly interested in gifts that fit into the collection profile. Gifts not retained are sent to affiliated libraries in The Netherlands or to Africa as part of our donation programme.



Visiting address
Witte Singel 27A
2311 BG Leide

See the directions for how to reach the ASCL

Postal address
ASCL Library, Documentation and Information Department
PO Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 9.00 - 17.00 hours

Telephone: +31 (0)71 527 3354