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New University Library

FAQ or suggestions

Questions about the new library

Do you have any questions about the new library and its use? Please see the following list of FAQs first. Is your question not listed? Please submit it using the online form at the bottom of this page.

The construction of the University Library and the campus
Do you have questions about the construction of the University Library or the campus? Please click on the button below. You will find answers to questions such as: how are students, staff and the neighbourhood kept informed during construction? And: will the new building be sustainable?

Frequently asked questions about the construction and campus.

  • 1. Why is UvA building a new library and why at this location?

    UvA clusters its faculties and facilities at four campus locations: Roeterseiland, Amsterdam Science Park, the Academic Medical Centre and the final location in the city centre: the University Quarter. The University Quarter will house the Faculty of Humanities and university-wide facilities such as the Aula and the University Library. In the years ahead, efforts will be made to make the area flourish again by restoring the old buildings and bringing back education and research in the humanities.

    As part of this, the new library will occupy the very same site where UvA started out as the Athenaeum Illustre in 1632. The new University Library will be an inspiring meeting place where you can study, do research and work. A place where the entire academic community feels at home. The University Library facilitates research and knowledge sharing and has its humanities collection in an open bookcase configuration. Its heritage collections are housed in the Allard Pierson. The libraries in UB Singel, the PC Hoofthuis and the Bushuis will move with their humanities collections to the new library.

  • 2. What makes the design of the new library unique?

    The new library is housed in a former hospital – the Binnengasthuis – that moved to the Academic Medical Centre in 1980. The building comprises three parts: the former surgical clinic, the former nursers' residence and a new wing. The design preserves the existing historic building's character with the addition of a spectacular glass roof and a new wing. The three parts are joined together to form a single building for the library. Using the glass roof to cover the former courtyard creates a beautiful atrium. The winning design is a combination of concepts by MVSA Architects and Architectenburo J. Van Stigt.

  • 3. What sorts of facilities and services will the new University Library offer?

    Humanities collection
    The library has room for seven kilometres worth of books in an attractive open configuration in reading rooms with mezzanines. This configuration is a long-standing wish come true for the Faculty of Humanities: a single humanities library that includes all disciplines. The UvA's heritage collections will continue to be housed at the Allard Pierson.

    Room for meeting 
    The building is designed to facilitate teaching, research, learning and working. There is also room for presentations and events. The atrium, the corridors, the restaurant and the rooftop terrace offer plenty of opportunities for meeting and interaction. There are also plenty of places to sit down to have a cup of coffee.

    Room for education 
    Education is one of the pillars of the university, and therefore also one of the new University Library. The former anatomical theatre, where dissections were performed on human bodies in the old days, will be a place to host lectures. In addition, the design includes tutorial rooms, a classroom, a 'sources' room and a recording studio.

    Study spaces 
    The library offers a wide variety of study spaces. It offers an oasis of calm in the busy city centre with quiet study places for concentrating on work, along with spaces for discussion, group work and brainstorming.

    Individual study is facilitated by private one-person study booths and quiet study rooms where students can concentrate on work at reading tables or tables along the window, in most cases with their own laptop. The former hospital wards in the anatomical theatre will be converted into reading rooms. By adding a mezzanine, the entire height of these spaces is used for the open book configuration.

    Group work can be done in one of the project rooms, which are equipped with a screen and means for writing. The project rooms vary in terms of facilities and look. For example, there will be a whiteboard room in which all of the walls and table can be written on and erased, and a space that is completely green, with a tree in the middle.

    Furthermore, there will be four larger collaboration spaces where people can talk and work in groups. These rooms will be equipped with moveable screens and whiteboards and flexible furniture. One of these rooms is adjacent to a rooftop terrace with a view of the city centre.

  • 4. What are the library hours?

    For the time being, we expect the hours will be as follows:

    Free access 
    Mon-Fri          08:30 - 18:00

    Limited access 
    Mon-Fri          18:00 - 23:45 
    Sat-Sun          09:00 - 23:45

    Limited access means that the University Library will be open to members only during these hours.

  • 5. What will happen to the UB Singel, PC Hoofthuis and Bushuis libraries?

    Given the fact that a large amount of square metres of UvA buildings will be under renovation in the coming years, there is not enough room in the remaining buildings to meet demand. It may be necessary to use the existing buildings for this. Consequently, the demand for space and the progress of the construction activities in the University Quarter will determine the possible decommissioning of the buildings.

Online form

Is your question not listed in the above FAQ? Please submit it using this online form.