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Gualtherus Hendrik Albert Juynboll archive and collection

Identifier: ubl251

Scope and Contents

The Juynboll collection encompasses his Islamic manuscripts, scholarly notes, correspondence materials and printed books. An important part of his collection is related with his nineteenth-century forebears who were active in the field of Oriental studies. Many printed books bear their annotations and are therefore unique.


  • Creation: 1628-2010
  • Creation: Bulk 1850-2010

Language of Materials

Multiple languages

Conditions Governing Access

The inventory numbers C 17, C 23, D 1-2 and E 71 are not free for public access.

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations applying to the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

Dr Gualtherus Hendrik Albert Juynboll (Leiden 1935-2010) was the last scion of a prominent family of Leiden orientalists. An early ancestor served in the Navy of the Dutch Republic under Admiral Piet Hein and took part in the capture of a Spanish return fleet which carried bullion from the Americas in 1628. In the nineteenth century T.W.J. Juynboll (1802-1861) was professor of Oriental languages at Leiden University. A.W.Th. Juynboll (1834-1887) taught at the training college for colonial civil servants at Delft. Another sibling, Th.W. Juynboll (1866-1948), was a student of Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje and later became professor of Hebrew at Utrecht. Gual Juynboll’s aunt Wilhelmina M.C. Juynboll wrote an authoritative history of seventeenth-century Arabic scholarship in the Netherlands.

Gual (or 'Gautier') Juynboll studied Arabic and Islam at Leiden University, obtaining his doctoral degree under Jan Brugman in 1969. He subsequently worked and studied at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Jerusalem (HUJI) and Exeter (UK). From 1985 onwards he was financially independent, which enabled him to devote himself exclusively to his studies.

Dr Juynboll was a widely renowned specialist of Hadith, the collection of sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad which rank second as a source of Islamic doctrine after the Quran. In 1983 Cambridge University Press published his work Muslim Tradition. Studies in Chronology, Provenance and Authorship of Early Hadith (Juynboll 1983).

His magnum opus Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadith was published by Brill (Leiden) in 2007 (Juynboll 2007a). This work contains a critical assessment of a large number of persons who were involved in the formation of Islamic orthodoxy.

Ever since his return from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands in 1985, Juynboll was a daily visitor of the Oriental reading room of Leiden University Library. Because of the enormous number of Islamic reference works he had to consult he obtained, among others, the privilege of using a book trolley, which served as an unmistakable sign of his presence in the reading room. He was dieply grieved when these privileges were withdrawn by the University Library during various organisational reforms since 2005. Nevertheless, Juynboll was devoted to the library, a sentiment he expressed in an autobiographical essay My Days in the Oriental Reading Room (Juynboll 2007, repr. 2011). Many generations of students of Arabic and Islam have fond memories of him and his unremitting readiness to help.

Juynboll passed away on 19 December 2010 as the last bearer of his family name. Friends and colleagues remember him as a slightly eccentric, sensitive and unusually talented scholar.

Professor Léon Buskens, chair of the Juynboll Stichting, contributed a biographical sketch of G.H.A. Juynboll to ZemZem, the only Dutch-language periodical on Middle Eastern studies (Buskens 2011). It does ample justice to the work and personality of this remarkable scholar. An English-language version is to appear in Bibliotheca Orientalis together with a bibliography of his works.


30 oriental manuscripts, ca. 300 printed books (Ca. 5.5 metres of archival materials)

Abstract in Dutch

De wetenschappelijke collectie van de arabist en islamgeleerde dr. G.H.A. Juynboll (1935-2010). Een deel van de collectie heeft betrekking op zijn familiegeschiedenis.

Abstract in English

The scholarly collection of the Arabist and Islam scholar Dr G.H.A. Juynboll (1935-2010). Part of the collection bears on the history of his family.


The inventory covers only the archival documents of Dr Juynboll (Or. 26.736).

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

The books can be found in the online catalogue. The manuscripts are described in an article by Prof. Jan Just Witkam in the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts (2012). For the archive see the inventory.

Custodial History

As a young man, Gual Juynboll inherited the private Orientalist library of his uncle Th.W. Juynboll, who died in 1948. To this sizable collection he added his own acquisitions, mainly in the field of Hadith studies, as well as his own publications and scholarly archives. As the last scion of his family, many documents and artefacts bearing on his family history came his way.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 1969 Gual Juynboll donated the scholarly papers of his ancestors to Leiden University Library, registered as Or. 18.089.

On three separate occasions, in 1976-77, 1998 and 2000, Gual Juynboll gave three Oriental manuscripts in permanent loan, formerly known as Bruikleen Juynboll Nos. 1-3. After his death in 2010 these loans were converted into a gift. Their current call numbers are Or. 26.717-26.719.

In 1989 Gual Juynboll donated a portfolio of correspondence of his uncle Th.W. Juynboll, mostly with C. Snouck Hurgronje. Registered as Or. 22.014. On the same occasion he also donated one Arabic manuscript (Or. 22.015).

On 18 August 2011 Juynboll's sole heir, the Leiden-based Juynboll Stichting, donated a considerable part of his collection of manuscripts, printed books and documents to Leiden University Library.


The printed books not selected by Leiden University Library in 2011 were auctioned by the firm of Burgersdijk & Niermans ('Templum Salomonis'), Leiden, on 15-16 November 2011, auction No. 334. The proceeds, which far exceeded expectations, went to the Juynboll Stichting.


No future additions are to be expected.

Related Materials

In 1963 Leiden University Library acquired two Oriental manuscripts at an auction of JL Beijers, Utrecht, which had previously belonged to Th.W. Juynboll (Or. 10.809. Or. 10.812).

Separated Materials

Juynboll's collection of family portraits was gifted to the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed in 2011.

In 1980, a large part of the Juynboll family archive was donated to the National Archives in The Hague in accordance with the Will of G.H.A. Juynboll’s father, the art historian Willem Rudolf Juynboll (1903-1977), see the Collection Guide, inventory number 3.20.74.


  • Buskens, L., Islamstudies als erfenis. Ter nagedachtenis aan dr. G.H.A. Juynboll (1935-2010), in: Zemzem 7/1 (2011), p.115-126.
  • Juynboll, G.H.A., Muslim Tradition. Studies in Chronology, Provenance and Authorship of Early Hadith. Cambridge 1983.
  • Juynboll, G.H.A., Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadith. Leiden 2007.
  • Juynboll, G.H.A., My days in the Oriental Reading Room. Leiden 2007, repr. 2011.
  • Witkam, J.J., The Oriental manuscripts in the Juynboll Family Library in Leiden, in: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 3/1 (2012), p. 20-102.


The materials can be requested via the online catalogue. They can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

The Juynboll Stichting also kindly gave a grant to cover the expenses of cataloguing the c. 300 printed books donated in 2011. All printed books can be retrieved through the online catalogue of Leiden University Libraries. All manuscripts and printed books were provided with a special ex-libris designed by Françoise Berserik.

The oriental manuscripts donated in 2011, registered as Or. 26.717-26.732, were described in great depth in a scholarly article by Prof. Jan Just Witkam in the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts (2012). This donation also included the three oriental manuscripts previously given in permanent loan.

In 2012-2014 an inventory of the Juynboll archival materials (Or. 26.736) was prepared by Mr Hans van de Velde, who also served as the executor of Dr Juynboll’s Will.

Collection guide of the Gualtherus Hendrik Albert Juynboll archive and collection (1628-2010)
Archief en collectie Gualtherus Hendrik Albert Juynboll
Hans van de Velde, Arnoud Vrolijk, 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Revision Statements

  • 3 June 2020: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

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