Leiden Asia Year 2017/2018: Leiden Celebrates ASIA, come and join us!

Leiden University is renowned throughout the world for its top-class expertise on Asia, brought together in its teaching and research. In September 2017 the University will open its new Asian Library, an internationally recognised centre of expertise on Asia, that will assemble under one roof all the University’s collections on the region, making them accessible to students, researchers and other interested parties.  The opening of the Asian Library will be one of the key events of the Leiden Asia Year 2017.

 

The aim of the Leiden Asia Year 2017 is to put Leiden (the city, its museums and the University) more firmly on the international map as one of the world’s leading knowledge hubs on Asia, covering research, teaching, collections and expertise. In close collaboration with the municipality of Leiden, the museums and other organisations and partners in the city, the University will be organising symposia, conferences, lectures and exhibitions in the city throughout 2017, all on the theme of Asia.  

 

Leiden University is one of the oldest and most respected centres in the Western world for the study of Asia. It is the only university in the Netherlands that offers an extensive programme in the languages and cultures of the Asian region. The programme can take the form of a broad study of the region with the focus on a specific region (China, Japan, Korea, India and Tibet, or Indonesia) or a study that takes a comparative perspective. Our Asian Library is unique, in terms of both the breadth and depth of its collection. The Indonesia collection, for example, is the most extensive of its kind in the world, and our Sinology collection is one of the largest in the Western world. 

The collections contain rare and valuable items, including manuscripts, books, maps, photos and prints. With this impressive library collection that has been amassed over a period of centuries, its top-quality teaching, and research focusing on and informed by the interaction between traditions and modernity, the University attracts students and researchers interested in Asia from all parts of the world.

The Asia Year will be given a strong national and international profile so that all parties who are interested in Asia, researchers and relevant partners worldwide will be aware that throughout 2017 Asia will be the focus of attention in Leiden. The University and partners hope that the Leiden Asia Year 2017, with its broad range of interesting activities for different target groups, will attract large numbers of visitors to the city.

The faculties, institutes and University library already organise a diverse range of activities every year on the theme of Asia. Next year, these activities will be brought together under the flag of the Leiden Asia Year. Besides these specific Asia activities, in 2017 Asia will  be the theme for all the regular annual events organised by the University (Dies Natalis, opening of the Academic Year, 3 October University, Cleveringa lectures, the remit of the Cleveringa professor, the Huizinga lecture and many others). And finally – together with partners from the city of Leiden – special events will be set up to mark the opening of the New Asian Library in September 2017.