The Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV) / Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies has specialized in collecting information and advancing research on the present and former Dutch colonies and their surroundings since 1851. Today it is an authoritative research institute focusing on Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia, and the Caribbean, especially Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean islands. Our collections, publications and research encompass the humanities and the social sciences, ranging from colonial history to present-day social issues. KITLV houses sizeable and diverse collections, a leading publishing unit, and changing research projects. Since 1969 KITLV has a representative office in Indonesia, KITLV-Jakarta, in collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

Our diverse collections
More than a million books, journals, magazines and newspapers, tens of thousands of photos, picture postcards, prints and drawings, maps and atlases, but also Oriental and Western manuscripts and archives and audiovisual material: these may be found in KITLV’s unique collections. Around three-quarters of material in the collections pertains to Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia, and one-tenth to the Caribbean, the rest of it being from or about Oceania and other parts of Asia and the Americas. Most of this material is available in online catalogues and the greater part is from the relevant regions, written in, for example, Indonesian, Papiamento and Sranantongo, as well as West-European languages.

Innovative research 
KITLV initiates and coordinates innovative research on the Caribbean and Indonesia. Research on both regions focusses on contemporary socio-political developments, as well as on historical themes. As well as striving to initiate and coordinate projects together with other institutes, the department stimulates individual projects on specific topics. There are regularly senior fellowships and junior research positions within specific projects advertised on the KITLV website, and the department also facilitates affiliated fellowships.

High-quality books and journals
Until 2012, KITLV Press has published hundreds of titles in the humanities and social sciences of Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, both in Leiden and in Jakarta. In October 2012, Brill Publishers has taken over KITLV Press. KITLV will, however, continue to sponsor its two series, Verhandelingen and Caribbean Series, on Southeast Asia and the Caribbean respectively.

KITLV-Jakarta also has a publication programme with most books published in Indonesian.

Brill/KITLV also publishes Bijdragen tot Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (BKI), which has appeared since 1851, is one of the oldest journals of its kind, and despite its name, is published in English. The Caribbean share of KITLV journals is represented by the New West Indian Guide (NWIG), published since 1919.

In cooperation with the Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) the Journal of Indonesian Social Sciences and Humanities is published in Indonesia. Many publications are published as free Open Access publications, including all issues of our three journals which are online and freely downloadable. Both BKI and NWIG are fully sponsored by the Learned Society Vereniging KITLV, and therefore article publication fees are waived.

KITLV is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).