Navigating through the KB

On this page you can read what you can find on each floor in the KB.

Entrance of the KB

You enter the KB on the ground floor.

  • Take the stairs to the basement to store your coats and bags in the lockers. Coats and bags are not allowed in the reading rooms. The same goes for food and drinks. In the basement, you will find KB baskets to carry your books, laptops and stationery to the reading rooms.

Reading room entrance and reception desk: 1st floor

The entrance to the reading room is on the 1st floor, immediately to your left. In front of the entrance, you will find the KB-plein, a room where you can relax with a cup of coffee.

Food and drinks (including bottled water) are not allowed into the information centre and the reading rooms of the KB. This is to prevent damage to the books in the reading rooms. There are drinking points on the way to the reading room.

  • At the reception desk, you can become a member of the KB or request a reading room pass. Please bring your ID and (if you want to become a member) a proof of address.
  • There is also a shop at the reception desk. Here, you can also buy KB publications (such as books, diaries or postcards). 

Information centre: 1st floor

In the Information centre on the 1st floor, you will find, among other things: 

  • 65 computers that KB members can use to work or to search all digital sources.
  • Scanners.
  • A top-up point to put funds on your card.

General reading room: 1st floor

You can reach the General reading room through the Information centre. Here you will find: 

  • A lending desk where KB members can collect most publications requested from the repository, i.e. the material that is not classified as Special Collections. Most of the KB's collection is kept in repositories, a small part can be found in the reading rooms. 
  • An information desk for all your questions about researching information.
  • Reference works (including books and magazines) about history, linguistics, theology, geography, religion and popular culture. The call numbers of these reference works always begin with LZ. Reference works about the Netherlands can be found on the 2nd floor (Reading room of the Netherlands). The call numbers of these reference works always begin with NL.
  • A room with printers, copiers and scanners. 
  • Tables with wall outlets for studying with your own laptop.
  • Wifi: the login password can be requested at one of the desks. 
  • Microfilm room (Microfilms and microfiches of newspapers, magazines and books).
  • Quiet area.
  • Chess department.
  • Accessible workstation for people with a visual impairment.

Reading room of the Netherlands: 2nd floor

In the Reading room of the Netherlands on the 2nd floor you will find:

  • A large collection of books about the history, language and culture of the Netherlands. These books can be freely taken from the bookcases for viewing. The call numbers of these books always begin with NL.
  • A reading table with newspapers and magazines.
  • Current volumes of magazines about history, architecture and social sciences, among other subjects.
  • Section with law books and books about the law. 
  • Themed pavilions about important subjects from Dutch history to explore and discover. This includes subjects such as the colonial past, migration, the Netherlands and its royal family, and religion in the Netherlands.

Special Collections Reading room: 2nd floor

The Special Collections Reading room is a separate room where KB members can view fragile and valuable documents. This includes all publications whose call number begins with KW, but also other special materials, such as newspapers or large books. Special Collections has its own opening hours and rules. 

You will also find a reference library with books and magazines about Special Collections. The call numbers of these works always begin with LHO, BAND or PC. They include: 

  • Catalogues of our own collection
  • Catalogues of special collections in other domestic and foreign libraries 
  • Studies on manuscripts (manuscript illumination, codicology and palaeography)
  • Studies on analytical bibliography
  • Studies on book binding, the history of paper and conservation
  • Studies on children's books
  • Manuals on printing technologies 


The Special Collections Reading room has a UV lamp for watermarks. You are allowed to photograph without a flash and for your own use only. There is a tripod.

KB house rules

  • Only KB members and visitors with a reading room pass have access. You can apply at the reception desk on the 1st floor for a free reading room pass. For more information about becoming a KB member, visit the 'Become a member' page.
  • Please note that large parts of the reading rooms are quiet areas. This is to enable those who wish to study to do so in peace and quiet.
  • You may not take any coats or bags into the reading rooms. In the basement there is a cloakroom with lockers where you can safely store your belongings. KB baskets are also available for your personal belongings. 
  • The KB building is a non-smoking building.
  • You may take photographs of publications in the KB without a flash for your own use. 
  • The KB wifi network is not secured. The use of computers and the internet connection is entirely at your own risk. The KB is not liable for damage, viruses or other (internet) threats.