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Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje collection - Or. 8952 A-B

Identifier: ubl165

Scope and Contents

Letters from almost all Orientalists of any renown between c. 1875 and 1936, and a large number of Snouck Hurgronje’s contacts in the Arabian peninsula and the Netherlands East Indies. Added are a number of letters from Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje to others. This collection is part of the ubl085 Collection Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje .


  • Creation: c. 1875-1936
  • Creation: Bulk 1889-1927


Conditions Governing Use

This is a digitised collection. The original documents can only be consulted at special request.


5000 letters (circa)

Language of Materials

Multiple languages

Abstract in Dutch

Het merendeel van de brievencollectie van Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, bewaard in Or. 8952 A – B. NB: voor andere onderdelen van de collectie, waaronder ook verspreide correspondentie, zie de overkoepelende collectiebeschrijving.

Abstract in English

The bulk of the letters of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, preserved in Or. 8952 A – B. PLEASE NOTE: for other parts of the collection, which also contain dispersed correspondence, see the main collection guide of the Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje collection.


Both parts of the collection (Or. 8952 A and B) are inventorised in this collection guide according to the surname of the correspondent. Due to transliteration problems with various languages using the Arabic script (Arabic, Malay, Achehnese, Ottoman Turkish et cetera) some caution is necessary in the case of Oriental correspondents, and it is advisable to search with various spellings.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

Both parts of the collection (Or. 8952 A and B) are inventorised in this collection guide and in the online catalogue.

Custodial History

After the death of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje in 1936 the collection remained in the possession of his widow, Ida Maria Snouck Hurgronje-Oort (1873-1958). Not long before her death her daughter Christien Liefrinck-Snouck Hurgronje (1914-) arranged for the correspondence to be donated to Leiden University Library in 1956.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The letters were placed under a 40-year embargo which expired on January 1st, 1997.


No future additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

The digital images are accessible via the inventory. For an overview of the digital collection in the catalogue click here. Then use Refine My Results or Advanced Search to diminish the number of results.

Related Materials

Although this collection comprises the bulk of the Snouck Hurgronje correspondence, many letters are dispersed over the other parts of the larger Snouck Hurgronje collection, see the overall collection guide for further reference.

Dispersed letters can be also found in the Bibliotheca Publica Latina (BPL) section of the Special Collections Department. These letters can be retrieved through the online catalogue.

Separated Materials

The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) at Leiden has a collection of Snouck Hurgronje papers.

The Nationaal Archief at the Hague has a collection of letters from Snouck Hurgronje to C. Adriaanse, editor of his collected works.

The letters of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje to Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), edited ty J. de Bruijn and G. Harinck, are preserved at the Free University of Amsterdam, Historisch Documentatiecentrum voor het Nederlands Protestantisme (see Literature).

A selection of letters from Snouck Hurgronje, mainly to Theodor Nöldeke (1836-1930) and Ignaz Goldziher (1850-1921) and preserved at various libraries in Germany, Hungary, France, Sweden and the Netherlands, has been edited by P.S. van Koningsveld (see Literature).


  • Bruijn, J. de & G. Harinck (eds.), Een Leidse vriendschap. De briefwisseling tussen Herman Bavinck en Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, 1875-1921. Baarn 1999.
  • Koningsveld, P.Sj. van (ed.), Orientalism and Islam. The letters of C. Snouck Hurgronje to Th. Nöldeke from the Tübingen University Library. Leiden 1985. (Abdoel-Ghaffaar, 1).
  • Id. (ed.), Scholarship and friendship in early Islamwissenschaft. The letters of C. Snouck Hurgronje to I. Goldziher from the Oriental collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. Leiden 1985. (Abdoel-Ghaffaar, 2).
  • Id. (ed.). Minor German correspondences of C. Snouck Hurgronje from libraries in France, Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands. Leiden 1987. (Abdoel-Ghaffaar, 3).
  • Witkam, J.J. (transl. & ed.), Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, Mekka in de tweede helft van de negentiende eeuw. Schetsen uit het dagelijks leven. Amsterdam, Antwerpen 2007. (Klassieke reizen, 8).

Processing Information

The letters were registered in September or October 1959 as Cod. Or. 8952. Between 1975 and 1979 a card index was prepared by Ms Loes Faasen.

In 1999, two years after the expiration of the embargo, the letters of Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) to Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje were edited by J. de Bruijn and G. Harinck (see Literature).

In 2007 a selection of the correspondence between Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje and his local contacts in Jeddah and Mecca was translated and edited by Jan Just Witkam as part of his introduction to a Dutch translation of the second volume of Mekka (see Literature).

The letters were restored, repacked, digitised and catalogued between 2007 and 2011 with funding from Metamorfoze, a national conservation and digitisation project co-ordinated by the Royal Library, The Hague, with additional financial support from Familefonds Hurgronje (Middelburg) and various persons related to Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje.

The letters were divided into two subsets: letters to Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje (Or. 8952 A) and a much smaller set of letters from Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje to others (Or. 8952 B).

The metadata in the Leiden University online catalogue and the Netherlands union catalogue of letters (CEN) were provided with the financial support of Agentschap NL through the project UNICUM.

Collection guide of the Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje collection - Or. 8952 A-B (c. 1875-1936)
Collectie Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje - Or. 8952 A-B
Arnoud Vrolijk
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
This finding aid has been written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 8 October 2015: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

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