When this Department was built at the end of the 19th century, there was no electricity. Combustible substances, such as candles and gas lamps, had to be kept away from the more than 100,000 volumes. To allow as much light in as possible, the roof was therefore constructed as a leaded glass dome. Although the library is four storeys high, daylight can filter down to the floor thanks to the open cast-iron staircases and balustrades.
Closed on Heritage Day / Open Monumentendag
Unfortunately, the Old Library will not be accessible for visitors on Heritage Day / Open Monumentendag (10 September 2016).