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Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw collection

Identifier: ubl162

Scope and Contents

The collection includes art and archaeology photographs of sites in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia (Java) and Asian art collections all over the world. Photographs related to the art and archaeology of northwestern Pakistan (Gandhara, Swat), Kashmir, Mathura and to the Chalukyas are abundant.

This collection is part of the ubl159 Kern Institute Photography Collections .


  • Creation: 1956-1983
  • Creation: Bulk 1959-1976

Conditions Governing Access

Copyright: The Ancient India and Iran Trust (Cambridge, United Kingdom).

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw was born in Amsterdam in 1919 and studied Indo-Iranian languages and cultures in Leiden. After posts held at the Dutch universities of Utrecht and Groningen between 1943 and 1950, Van Lohuizen was appointed University lecturer in Indian Art and Archaeology in Cambridge in 1951. Eight years later, in 1959, she returned to Amsterdam as Professor of Archaeology, Protohistory, Ancient History and Art History of South and Southeast Asia at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). There, on the Turfmarkt, she founded The Institute of South Asian Archaeology. Over the next 17 years she extensively documented her field trips and museum visits in order to build up an impressive institutional photographic archive. Van Lohuizen also stimulated colleagues to follow her example and besides, she ordered prints from professional photographers such as Josephine Powell and semi-professional photographers like Gerard Foekema and Yves Coffin. Thanks to Van Lohuizen’s efforts over 33,000 photographic prints entered the collections of the Institute.

Van Lohuizen was a renowned scholar, who specialized in the early art and archeology of the former so-called North-West Frontier, the area covering eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and northwestern India, with the historic religious and trading centres of Mathura and of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara. Her greatest scholarly contributions deal with the establishment of the Kushana era and the first known Buddha images. She also focused on bronzes, especially those from northeastern India and Indonesia.

Due to an internal conflict at the institute, Van Lohuizen left Amsterdam in 1976 and returned to Cambridge. There she joined the Ancient India and Iran Trust, shortly after it was founded. Van Lohuizen’s 10,000 negatives and personal archive are still preserved there. Co-operation with the Trust resulted in permission to digitize the prints and publish these on the internet.

Van Lohuizen died in Amsterdam in December 1983. She was married to Dr Jan van Lohuizen over 40 years. The couple had no children.


10.000 photographs (circa)

Language of Materials


Abstract in Dutch

Zwart-wit foto’s van Zuid- en Zuidoost-Aziatische archeologische overblijfselen, genomen door de Nederlandse Indologe Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw (1919-1983) tussen ca. 1956 and 1983. De collectie omvat in situ opnamen en foto’s van publieke en particuliere Aziatische kunstcollecties, zowel binnen als buiten Azië. Collectie Van Lohuizen is onderdeel van de BAKA Collectie (Bibliotheek voor Aziatische Kunst en Archeologie), de grootste subcollectie van de Instituut Kern Fotografie Collecties.

Abstract in English

Black and white photographs of South and Southeast Asian archaeological remains, taken by the Dutch Indologist Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw (1919-1983) between c. 1956 and 1983. The collection contains in situ photographs and pictures of public and private Asian art collections, both in Asia and outside. Collection Van Lohuizen is part of Collection BAKA (Bibliotheek voor Aziatische Kunst en Archeologie), the biggest sub-collection of The Kern Institute Photographic Collections.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

Prints of the Collection Van Lohuizen cover the numbers P-002718 through P-012470; P-023.671 through P-023.817; P-024.936 through P-025.005 and a small set of additional numbers in the boxes 330, 332, 333 and 335.

The greater part of the metadata (description records) is digitally accessible via Digital Collections. A part of the records has an image.

Custodial History

The Institute of South Asian Archaeology in Amsterdam was closed in 1988, and the photographs, along with slides, books, journals and maps were moved to another location (Spui 21), where the library was renamed Bibliotheek voor Aziatische Kunst en Archeologie (BAKA). On 8 October 1990 the University of Amsterdam (UvA) donated the collections to the Royal Institute for the Tropics (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, KIT) in Amsterdam. In October 1995 KIT donated the greater part of the former BAKA Collections, including the Van Lohuizen photographs, to the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, more specifically, the Department of Languages and Cultures of South and Central Asia (Kern Institute). This was done because KIT felt that the archaeology collections did not fall within their collection profile.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Collection Van Lohuizen, part of the Kern Institute Photographic Collections, was presented to the Leiden University Library, department Special Collections, on April 27, 2010.


The Collection Van Lohuizen is famous for its broad geographical and contentual scope. The greater part of her collection is devoted to South Asian art and archaeology. Thanks to Van Lohuizen’s scholarly reputation and enthusiasm she managed to visit many archaeological sites and doors that were normally closed were opened for her. It makes her documentation unique. She covered the small site museums as well as the large Asian art museums. The Collection Van Lohuizen was moved in its entirety to its new location at Leiden University Library.


No future additions are to be expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

The greater part of the Collection Van Lohuizen is digitally accessible via Digital Collections.

Related Materials

The Collection Van Lohuizen Contact Prints and the Collection Van Lohuizen Slides were also transferred to Leiden University Library.

Separated Materials

Van Lohuizen’s 10,000 negatives and personal archive are preserved at the Ancient India and Iran Trust in Cambridge (United Kingdom).


  • Allchin, F.R., Obituary: Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw (1919-1983), in South Asian Archaeology 1983, edited by J. Schotsmans and M. Taddei, Rome 1985, pp. 3-7.
  • Boisselier, J., In Memoriam: Johanna E. Van Lohuizen de Leeuw, in Arts Asiatiques 42, (1987), pp. 102-104.
  • Caparis, J.G. de, Professor J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw and South Asian Archaeology-obituary, in Bijdragen tot de Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde 142, vol. 2-3 (1985), pp. 171-177.
  • Harle, J.C., Obituary Professor J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (New Series) 117 (1985), pp. 65-66.
  • Srinivasan, D.M., In Memoriam: Johanna E. Van Lohuizen-de Leeuw (1919-1983), in Artibus Asiae 46, vol. 1-2 (1985), pp. 149-153.
  • Rosenfield, J.M., Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw (1919-1983), in Archives of Asian Art 37 (1984), pp. 109-110.


The material in this collection can be requested at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

All BAKA photographs underwent passive conservational measures between 1999 and 2001 at the Kern Institute, subsidized by the Mondriaan Foundation. Most data of the Van Lohuizen photographs were made accessible via the Skopeo-database at the Kern Institute (financed by the Jan Gonda Foundation), and later via DigiBeeld, an E-learning environment for students and teachers. Since 2009, data are accessible via Digital Collections.

Collection guide of the Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw collection (1956-1983)
Collectie Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-de Leeuw
Gerda Theuns-de Boer (Marie-Odette Scalliet, ed.), 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857