National Museum of Antiquities

Rapenburg 28, Leiden


Universiteit Leiden

17 March - Collecting Asia – Symposium

The symposium Collecting Asia on Asian antiquities is organized by the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, the National Museum of Antiquities and Japan Museum SieboldHuis.


Leiden University has longstanding relations with Asia and a tradition of academic interest in the Asian continent. Asian Modernities and Traditions is one of the eleven university research profiles in which researchers from different disciplines collaborate in specific themes concerning Asia. Leiden University also has a permanent representative in Jakarta.


This focus on Asia is also reflected in the collections in Leiden. 2017 will be the year in which the Leiden University Asian Library will be opened, joining the collection of KITLV and Leiden University Library. The Asian Library will be one of the major Asia libraries in the Western World. The Museum of Antiquities acquired and managed a collection of Asian antiquities in the 19th century which have been transferred to the Museum of Ethnology in the 20thcentury. The SieboldHuis offers insight into the first Dutch contacts with Japan.


The symposium Collecting Asia will describe this history of Asian Leiden connections and is meant to showcase that Leiden doesn’t only offer written (digitized) sources but also a wealth of material culture to study the continent. However, why were all these things collected and brought to the Netherlands? What was the rationale behind all these collecting activities? During this symposium several speakers will give a short lecture on certain Asian collections in Leiden. Read more.