New institutional arrangements for KITLV

On June 30, 2014 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), Leiden University, and the Learned Society signed a number of agreements with regards to the future of the KITLV. The Learned Society is entrusting the care of its world famous collections to the library of Leiden University. KITLV continues as a research organization of the KNAW, deeply embedded in the Leiden University community but still attached to the other humanities institutes of the KNAW. Part of the staff of KITLV’s current collections division is transferring to the UBL; unfortunately it was impossible to offer positions in the new situation to all of the collections staff.

The president of the KNAW, Hans Clevers, and the rector magnificus of Leiden University Carel Stolker expressed their faith in the KITLV and in the spirit of cooperation with regards to the future of the KITLV (See KNAW’s press release).

Susan Legêne, chair of the Learned Society, judged the attitude of the KNAW critically, but nevertheless expresses her faith in the new scenario (See Learned Society KITLV press release). Kurt De Belder, director of the UBL, thanked the learned Society for the trust that it has placed in the UBL and described how the UBL hopes to expand in the field of area studies during the coming years, especially with regards to Indonesia and the Caribbean (See Leiden University’s press release).

The director of KITLV, Gert Oostindie, emphasized that the ‘new’ research institute KITLV-KNAW is making this new start energetically and expressed his confidence that the KNAW, Leiden University and the institute’s own dedicated research staff together will bear the responsibility for the institute well into the future. Ernst Hirsch Ballin, chair of the KNAW’s Scientific Commission underlined the importance of close cooperation between the KNAW, UL, and the Learned Society; and of the KITLV striving as a KNAW institute towards groundbreaking interdisciplinary research and training new researchers. The Scientific Commission sees it as its role to support the KITLV in these endeavours.

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