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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?

    Libraries around the world are facing change. The function is changing from book repository to a place where learning and meeting occur in the broadest sense of the word. Now that the UvA is entering the final phase of campus development, the University Quarter, the new campus deserves a new library that meets the changing demand for education and information, in close proximity to the collection's most important user: the Faculty of Humanities. The new library will be equipped with facilities that are unthinkable at the current locations, such as an underground bicycle parking facility, study areas that are attuned to 21st century skills and access to the entire open collection at a single location; in addition, the building does not use gas and it meets the BREEAM sustainability standards. We build on tradition, but work on the future.

  • 2. Why was the location on the Binnengasthuis premises chosen?

    The UvA is building the new University Library in the former Tweede Chirurgische Kliniek and former Zusterhuis buildings on Vendelstraat. After a long and intensive preparatory phase, this location was chosen on the basis of consultations with the academic community, analysis by an external urban planning expert, advice from the assessment group and recommendations issued by the representative advisory bodies. This is where the UvA, in cooperation with the city of Amsterdam, is developing the University Quarter, which will also accommodate the Faculty of Humanities and the Executive Board and the executive staff.

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

    The new library is housed in a former hospital. The building comprises three parts: the former surgical clinic, the former nurses' residence and the new wing. The design preserves the existing historic building's character with the addition of a spectacular glass roof and a new wing. The winning design is a combination of concepts by MVSA Architects (link) and Architectenburo J. Van Stigt.

  • 4. What facilities are available in the University Library?

    Room for meeting 
    Not only students meet each other but also lecturers and researchers from the humanities as well as other faculties in and outside the UvA. In the new University Library, everyone is welcome. For researchers, the new University Library will also be an ‘exhibition room’ for research. That is why we will regularly open the new library for lectures, exhibitions or other events: for, by and with researchers, lecturers, students and other visitors. Afterwards, they can enjoy a coffee in the University Library Canteen or on the roof terrace.

    Room for education 
    Education is one of the pillars of the university, and therefore also one of the new University Library. Accordingly, we have created a place for that. The former anatomical theatre, where dissections were performed on human bodies in the old days, is ready to host lectures. In addition, there are tutorial rooms, a classroom that facilitates active learning and a ‘sources’ room. We help lecturers with online teaching materials such as digital readers and syllabi.

    Study places 
    A university library is there for its students. In their new library, they can study the way they want in one of the 1,000 new study places in the building.

    Our reading rooms are equipped with everything a modern student needs. The whiteboard room encourages you to engage in discussion with each other. In the offline room, you go back in time when there were no smartphones or laptops. We provide ample room for development into critical, conscious students by creating an environment for improving 21st century skills, in particular the students' digital knowledge and comprehension. 

    Collection and lending centre
    The library offers space for seven kilometres of books in the open stacks. Just like in the current system, books can also be reserved from other locations and picked up from the lending centre.

  • 5. What are the library hours?

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

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

    Only open to:

    • UvA and AUAS students and staff with a valid student ID card or staff ID card.
    • Students and staff at other Dutch universities, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, HKA, KNAW and KB staff, provided they have a library card (UKB card). They are not permitted access during exam periods.
    • Other cardholders with a valid library card.