Library of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV)
Scope and Contents
The KITLV collection contains texts and images from and pertaining to Indonesia and Southeast Asia on the one hand (80%), and the Carribean, especially Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles on the other (20%). Its holdings add to 750,000 items (c. 12,000 meters). The collection includes not only more than 20,000 periodicals, but also (due to former documentation activities of KITLV) 100,000 linked descriptions of separate articles.
Its famous Special Collections comprise:
- oriental manuscripts (600 items) – shelfmarks in the online catalogue begin with "D Or." - see also a separate overview of Archive Inventories (PDF’s)
- western manuscripts and archival materials (1200 items), the archive of the KITLV included – shelfmarks in the online catalogue begin with "D H" – see also a separate overview of Archive Inventories (PDF’s)
- maps (over 13,000 items) and atlases (500 items) – can be searched in the online catalogue - see also the collection guide of the KITLV maps and atlases
- rare books (50,000 items pre-1950), including many travel accounts – can be searched in the online catalogue
- Photographs (200,000 items), prints (500 items) and drawings (1200 items) – cannot be searched in the online catalogue - these items are digitized and available online (see below).
For a selection of 120 highlights see Van Rosmalen a.o. (2009).
Part of the collections has been digitized. Item descriptions of digitized books and journals can be searched in the online catalogue. For non-text materials please consult the Digital Collections:
- Creation: Bulk 1620-present
Language of Materials
Indonesian, English, Dutch, Malay, French, Javanese, German, Sundanese, Spanish etc.
Conditions Governing Access
Consultation of some of the archives/collections requires written authorization by the curator.
Conditions Governing Use
Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.
Biographical / Historical
The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde: KITLV) investigates Southeast Asia, the Pacific Area and the Caribbean in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, with focus on Indonesia and the 'Dutch' Caribbean.
Founded in 1851, KITLV was situated in Delft and made use of the library of the Royal Academy. It was only after the Indisch Genootschap (Indies Society) merged with KITLV (1869) that came into being what was considered the best colonial library in the Netherlands. By that time KITLV had already moved to The Hague. In 1898 G.P. Rouffaer joined the institute and his acquisition policy meant a second boost for its library. In 1966 KITLV moved to Leiden. Since 2001 it functions as an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Formerly, KITLV’s mission was threefold: collection development and management, research and publishing academic work. This changed in the last years. In 2012, KITLV Press was closed, and part of its publishing activities transferred to Brill Academic Publishers (imprint: KITLV Publications). In 2014, KITLV’s extensive library was given on loan to Leiden University Libraries. The institute continues to draw heavily on these world-class collections which are available on campus. KITLV works with partners at Leiden University (History, Anthropology, Law, Area Studies) and within the broader framework of LeidenGlobal, a consortium of scholarly institutions and museums. It cooperates with its sister KNAW institutes in Amsterdam, especially on projects with an e-humanities methodology.
12.000 meters (Ca. 750,000 items)
Abstract in Dutch
De bibliotheekcollectie van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Land-, Taal- en Volkenkunde omvat boeken, tijdschriften, handschriften, archivalia, foto’s en andere bijzondere stukken verzameld in verband met onderzoek naar Zuid-Oost Azië, de Pacific en de Caraïben, in het bijzonder Indonesië en de 'Nederlandse' Caraïben.
Abstract in English
The library collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies comprise books, periodicals, manuscripts, archives, photographs and other materials, acquired to support the research executed by the Institute, with focus on Indonesia and the 'Dutch' Caribbean.
Leiden University Library, Special Collections
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection is owned by the Members Association KITLV and given on loan to Leiden University Libraries on 1 July 2014.
As of 1 July 2014 Leiden University Libraries spends allocated budget to continue large scale acquisitions (which will be owned by UBL). Part of the acquisitions and the digitization of periodicals is done in Indonesia, by UBL staff of the KITLV Jakarta.
Existence and Location of Copies
Photographs can only be consulted in digital form; see below.
Several KITLV research projects have led to dedicated websites, offering their own resources: Aceh Books, Chinese Indonesian Heritage Center, Het Indische Knooppunt (in Dutch), Indonesia 1940-1945 (in Dutch), Interview Collection (SMGI), Javanese in Diaspora, VOC-Kenniscentrum (in Dutch).
- Kuitenbrouwer, M., Tussen oriëntalisme en wetenschap. Het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde in historisch verband, 1851-2001. Leiden 2001. – [Translated by L. Granger and edited by H.A. Poeze as: Dutch scholarship in the age of empire and beyond : KITLV - the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, 1851-2011. Leiden 2014]
- Rosmalen, J. van a.o., Treasures: uit de collecties van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde te Leiden = Treasures: from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden = Treasures: dari koleksi Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde di Leiden. Leiden 2009. – Also available online (PDF)
- Rouffaer, G.P., Catalogus der land- en zeekaarten toebehoorende aan het Koninklijk Instituut voor de taal-, land- en volkenkunde van Nederlandsch Indië. ’s-Gravenhage 1898.
- Rouffaer, G.P., Catalogus der Koloniale Bibliotheek van het Kon. Instituut voor de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Ned. Indië en het Indisch Genootschap. ’s-Gravenhage 1908. – [with 21 supplements, 1915-1987, compiled by W.C. Muller and others].
- Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Souteast Asia = Bijdragen tot de taal- land- en volkenkunde 1-172 (1853-2016) etc. – Open Access journal via Brill Online
- New West Indian Guide = Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 1-90 (1919-2016) etc. – Open Access journal via Brill Online
- Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 1-303 (1938-2016) etc. – A hundred volumes in Open Access via Brill Online
The text collections can be requested via the online catalogue. Most publications printed after 1900 can be lent out. Publications printed before 1900 have to be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room; the same holds for other materials, such as manuscripts, archives, prints and drawings.
The image collections and audio files can be consulted using the Image Collection (KITLV).
KITLV’s first printed catalogues were compiled by G.P. Rouffaer (1898, 1908). Many catalogues and accessions lists were to follow. They are listed in a collection guide: Collection Catalogues of the Holdings of Leiden University Libraries, under chapter S.
The text collections can be searched in UBL’s online catalogue. The Image Collection (KITLV) describes and presents images, maps and audio files, particularly from Indonesia, the Dutch Indies, Suriname and the Caribbean. Additionally there are images of migrants from these areas who resided temporarily or resettled in the Netherlands.
The archive inventories in PDF are being converted into collections guides, using the Encoded Archival Description format (EAD)
- Collection guide of the library of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) (1620-present)
- Bibliotheek van het Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV)
- André Bouwman, 2016
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Beschrijving is in het Engels.
- 30 September 2016: latest update