More than 3,000 books from KIT given to ASC Leiden

BooksDue to the closure of the Library of the KIT (Royal Institute of the Tropics, Amsterdam) all 450,000 books that belonged to this institute have been transferred to other libraries at the end of 2013. More than 3,000 books of the KIT collection have been given to the African Studies Centre. Largest parts of the KIT collection were moved to University Library Leiden (1,5 km, all pre-1950 books, maps & the cultural heritage part) and to Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt (ca. 300,000 books). Other parts of the collection have been given to 24 libraries in the Netherlands. For an (incomplete) overview, see

New home
During the last six months the staff of KIT Amsterdam has desperately tried to find a new home for the complete collection of library books and has largely succeeded in doing so. The 31 employees of the KIT Library & Collection Department have lost their jobs as of December 31, 2013.

Unique copies
The 3,029 books for the ASC Library arrived in Leiden in December. They are - of course - all about Africa and they are unique copies: no other library in the Netherlands has any of these books. The titles of all 3,029 books have immediately been made available via the library catalogue of the African Studies Centre, Most books are in English; 620 books are UMI Dissertations. All were published in the period 2000 - 2013. The books will be gradually incorporated into the ASC Library collection, but all are immediately available for loan.

Jos Damen, December 2013