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The building has been designed as a 21st-century library, an inspiring meeting place where you can study, conduct research and work. A place where the entire academic community is welcome and feels at home.

What can you expect in the new University Library?

Humanities collection

The library will accommodate seven kilometres worth of books in an attractive open setting, 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 the various disciplines. The UvA's heritage collections will continue to be housed at the Allard Pierson.

Meeting space

The building has been designed to facilitate teaching, research, studying and working. It also offers scope for presentations and events. The atrium, corridors, restaurant and rooftop terrace offer plenty of opportunities for encounters and interaction. There are also plenty of places where people can sit down for a quick coffee.

Educational space

Education is one of the pillars of the university and therefore also of the new University Library. The former surgical theatre, where dissections were performed on human bodies in the old days, will soon be a place that hosts lectures. In addition, the design includes tutorial rooms, a classroom, a ‘sources’ room and a recording studio.

The interior of the new University Library in 3D
The interior of the new University Library in 3D

In discussions and co-creation sessions with students, lecturers, researchers and other employees, the design of the University Library has been closely tailored to their needs. For example, this has led to a wide variety of study, work, teaching and learning spaces.

Study room with tall bookcases

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 where students can concentrate on their work, along with spaces for discussion, group work and brainstorming.
  • Individual study is facilitated by lockable one-person study booths and quiet study rooms where students can concentrate on their work at reading tables or tables along the windows, in most cases using their own laptop. The former hospital wards of the Chirurgische Kliniek building will be converted into reading rooms. The addition of a mezzanine has made it possible to use these spaces right up to the ceiling, with an open bookcase setting.
  • Group work can take place in one of the project rooms, which are equipped with a screen and writing facilities. 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.


Together with the Allard Pierson and other parties, we will offer a platform to increase the visibility of the UvA even further. The splendid atrium, at the heart of the building, is ideal for information meetings, open days, activities and events.