General Reading Room Contemporary Printed Books

Opening hours

  • from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

July and August:

  • from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: closed



If you want to consult any of the documents in the collection of Contemporary Printed Books or simply study in peace and quiet, you can visit one of the three reading rooms on the ground floor (level 0):

1. General Reading Room (160 seats)

This room is accessible to anyone who wants to consult documents from the collection.

2. Work Room (120 seats)

This room is reserved for researchers who regularly use the Library for longer periods.

Request a seat

3. Study Room (200 seats)

This room is reserved for studying. You cannot consult books in this room.


How to make requests for publications

You can make requests for books from Monday to Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 3.45 p.m. We do not issue any books between midday and 1 p.m.

1. In the Catalogue Room you can use the online catalogue or the various card catalogues. Make sure you read our tips for searches in our catalogues.

2. The request forms are available from the desk in the Catalogue Room. Make sure you fill in the form correctly. If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to ask a librarian.

3. Hand in the completed form to the staff in the Catalogue Room. You will receive a slip which you should take to the General Reading Room to collect your publications.

4. Our colleagues will fetch the book from the repositories for you. This may take some time, depending on exactly where the books you want are located.

5. Please consult the books you requested at the seat assigned to you.

To avoid long waiting times, you may make a request every 20 minutes (every half hour on Saturdays) for no more than five publications at once. You may request up to five successive volumes or years.


Requesting material online

If you prefer not to wait for your books, you can request them in advance via the online catalogue.

Read more


Interlibrary loans

You can request publications that are not available at the Royal Library through the Interlibrary Loans Service. Check the guidelines, prices and restrictions.


Reference works

Reference works, which you are free to use, are arranged per subject in the reading rooms and in the Catalogue Room. A map with the layout of these reference works is available at the desk in the Catalogue Room.



Each room has a Wi-Fi connection and sockets so you can connect your laptop. The Catalogue Room also has a number of computers which readers may use. Their main purpose is for consulting the online catalogue. Although these work stations have access to the Internet, they cannot be used to download or print documents.


Copies and reproductions

There are three options for making copies of documents:

  • The Main Reading Room has two photocopiers for general use. The Work Room also has a photocopier.
  • However, if you need an image that is better quality than the ones produced by the photocopiers, you can order a reproduction (a scan or photocopy). It is not possible to make scans or copies of documents from before 1850 or rare books. View all prices.
  • You may take digital photographs of documents that are stored in the Contemporary Printed Books collection if they are intended for personal use (this includes treatises or dissertations that won’t be published). However, you may not use a flash or a tripod. You will need to fill in a special form that is available from the desk. Please always respect the copyrights.



Contact the department using the contact form