Finding your way in the KB

Main entrance

The main entrance is on the ground floor of the building. Down one flight of stairs you will find a wardrobe with lockers. Outdoor coats and bags are not allowed in the reading rooms. KB baskets are provided for your personal belongings.

Reception desk, first floor

The reading room reception desk is located on the first floor (through the revolving doors).

  • At the reception desk you can apply for membership or a reading room pass. Bring your identification and (for membership) a proof of address.
  • Postcards and KB publications can be purchased at the reception desk.

Information centre, first floor

Facilities in the Information Centre include:

  • An information desk – for all your search queries.
  • 80 work stations for KB members to access all digital resources.

KB work stations

Work stations for KB members.

General reading room, first floor

Turning left from the Information Centre you enter the General reading room, where you can find:

  • An issue desk where KB members can pick up their requested material (excluding Special Collections items). Go to requests, pick-up and return.
  • Reference literature on (Dutch) history, language, theology, geography, social sciences, sciences, art, archaeology, religion and popular culture
  • Desks with sockets for your laptop
  • Wifi; log on with your account number and password
  • Copying machines (for a fee)
  • Scanners (members only, free of charge)
  • Printers (members only, for a fee)
  • Microfilm room (microfilms of Dutch newspapers)
  • A top-up machine for your library card
  • Quiet study area
  • A special work station for visually impaired visitors
  • Our chess pavillion.

Map of the first floor reading rooms.

Reading Room of the Netherlands, second floor

In the Reading Room of the Netherlands you will find:

  • A large collection of books on the history, language and culture of the Netherlands, in open access stacks.
  • A reading table with newspapers and magazines.
  • A section on (Dutch) law.

KB Reading room of the Netherlands

Reading room of the Netherlands

  • Pavillions with resources on topics of interest from Dutch history and culture:
    • Dutch colonial past
    • Migration
    • Netherlands and the House of Orange (royal family)
    • Netherlands and water
    • Religion in the Netherlands
    • Present-day Netherlands.

Map of the Reading Room of the Netherlands

Special Collections Reading Room, second floor

The Special Collections Reading room is equipped for viewing vulnerable and precious collection items. These are all items beginning ‘KW’ in our catalogue. The Special Collections reading room has its own opening hours and conditions of use.

The reading room also provides an open access library of Special Collections documentation:

  • Catalogues of the KB’s special collections.
  • Catalogues of other special collections in the Netherlands and abroad.
  • Studies on manuscripts (book illumination, codicology, palaeography).
  • Studies on book history (analytical bibliography).
  • Studies on book binding, paper history and conservation.
  • Handbooks on printing techniques.
  • Studies on children’s books.


A watermark lamp and a UV-lamp are available in the reading room, as well as a tripod for a camera. You may take photographs of collection items as long as you do not use a flash.

Special Collections Reading Room

Some conditions of use

  • Access to the KB reading rooms is granted only to KB members or visitors with a reading room pass.
  • Please respect the quiet areas in the reading rooms.
  • You cannot bring outdoor coats or bags into the reading rooms. Please store them in the lockers in the basement. KB-baskets are made available for your personal belongings.
  • Eating and drinking is not allowed in the reading rooms. Please visit our coffee corner or our Vitam restaurant for refreshments.
  • The KB is non-smoking building.
  • Photography of collection items is allowed so long as no flash is used.
  • The KB’s wifi network is not secure. The KB accepts no liability for damages, viruses or other internet threats to your PC or content.
  • More Conditions of use of the KB.