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All about Borrowing & Consulting

Most publications in the UvA library can be requested online via the UvA CataloguePlus. Exceptions to this rule are books in the faculty libraries which cannot be borrowed or for a short period of time only. These publications cannot be requested or reserved online. Instead, you must collect them from the open shelves yourself and check them out at the library desk or via the lending machine. Books which can be borrowed for the normal loan period can be requested online and sent to another UvA library to be collected there.

  • What do I need to borrow materials?

    Students and employees of the UvA and AUAS

    To borrow materials, you need a student or staff card from the UvA or AUAS.


    With a valid alumni card of the Amsterdamse Universiteits-Vereniging (AUV) and an ID, you are entitled to a free library card for borrowing at the libraries of UvA and HvA.

    Non-UvA borrowers

    If you are not affiliated to the UvA but would like to borrow publications from the Library's collection, you can apply for a library card.

  • Collecting your loans

    When requesting books, please indicate from which library you wish to collect it. In principle, it is ready for you the next working day. For requests made on Friday after 15:00, during the weekend and holidays, delivery will be on the first day the library is open again.

    Requests can be sent to the following libraries:

    • University Library - Singel 425
    • Bushuis - Kloveniersburgwal 48
    • Special collections - Oude Turfmarkt 129
    • Juridische Bibliotheek (Law Library) - Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 (Roeterseiland Campus, building A)
    • Library Learning Centre Roeterseiland Campus - Roetersstraat 11
    • Medical library - Meibergdreef 15
    • P.C. Hoofthuis - Spuistraat 134
    • CEDLA – Roetersstraat 33
    • Science library - Science Park 904

    As soon as your request is available, you will be notified by email. Requested publications are held for you for 7 days at the library you indicated.

  • Placing hold requests

    If a title is on loan, you can place a hold request. Via My account in UvA CataloguePlus you can check your requests and see if a publication has arrived yet.
    As soon as your request is available, you will be notified by email.

  • Not available for loan

    Some types of publication cannot be borrowed, such as:

    • journals and newspapers
    • books over 100 years old
    • publications in reading rooms
    • rare and valuable books

    Publications which may not be borrowed, must be consulted in the library. In the University Library you can study them in the reading rooms. In faculty libraries these publications must be used within that particular faculty library.

    Publications from before 1900, manuscripts, letters, and special editions requested via the catalogue,  must be collected and consulted in the Special Collections library.

    Large formats (newspapers, etc.) and requests for exceptionally large numbers of journal volumes must be consulted in the reading room of the UBA book depot (IWO).

  • Loan period and renewal

    You can borrow a maximum of fifty books at a time. The standard loan period is 28 days. Exam literature and frequently requested books have a shorter loan period of 7 days.

    Some materials are available for use within the library only (1-day loan).

    Automatic renewal

    Your book is automatically renewed by 28 days, unless it is reserved by someone else. It is After 3 automatic renewals you have to return the book to the library. You can only renew it at a library service desk.

    Not renewable

    You cannot renew materials that are only available for use within the library (1-day loans). The publication must be returned the same day before closing time of the library service desk.

    Books that you have borrowed via Interlibrary Loan cannot be renewed as well.

  • Reminders and fines

    Shortly before your loan expires you will receive a request to either renew the loan or return it. If items are overdue you will be fined per item.


    From the expiry date onwards we will be sending reminders:

    • 1st reminder: no fine yet
    • 2nd reminder: €1
    • 3rd reminder: €4 (total €5)
    • 4th reminder: €10 (total €15). Your account is blocked. Borrowing or renewing items is no longer possible.
    • Invoice: 4 weeks after the last reminder you receive an invoice for replacement and administrative costs with a minimum of €75.00 per item.

    Reminders and other messages will be sent by email. Please be sure to check your spamfolder as well.

    Paying fines

    The fines are per item and accrue: after 28 days you have a fine of €15.00 per item. When your fine is €15.00 or more, you can no longer borrow or renew items.

    If you return the item, the replacement and administrative costs are cancelled. The fine still has to be paid.

    If you do not pay the invoice, a debt-collecting agency will be called in.

    Fines can be paid at a library service desk. At the University Library Singel, P.C. Hoofthuis Library and HvA libraries you can only pay with PIN (debit card).


Ask the Library about loans, requests and fines.