Rubenianum becomes library Rubenshuis

The rich artistic tradition of the Southern Netherlands counts thousands of small and great masters. To permanently understand and appreciate their surviving works, research and knowledge are essential. The library collects and develops this knowledge and makes it available to both professional and heritage-interested audiences. You will find approximately two kilometres of research collections: a large collection of publications is complemented by a unique artwork documentation and art historical research archives.


Until 28 June, the reading room is located in the library building at 20 Kolveniersstraat, and is open to all. You are welcome from Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 4.30pm.  

Reader card 

With a reader's card, you can request books and documentation online and consult them on the spot. Before your visit, please read the reading room regulations, which you will find at the bottom of this page. Special conditions apply to some items or collections. You will get more information on the spot. 

Our reader's card is the A-card. If you do not already have one, it can be created on site with your e-ID. Create a user account in advance by filling in the online registration form. Once your application is registered, we will contact you.  


You can then use the online catalogue to request the necessary documents, which we will prepare for you. Recent journals, new books and catalogues and some reference works can be consulted freely in the reading room. For research in the archives, you can enquire on site or send an e-mail in advance to The Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard can already be consulted on the new website It is not possible to borrow publications. 


Wheelchair users can access the reading room via the lift.  

Closing days (until 28 June) 

  • Wednesday 1 May: Labour Day  
  • Thursday 9 May: Assumption Day  
  • Friday 10 May: bridging day  
  • Monday 20 May: Whit Monday 

From 28 June, the reading room on Kolveniersstraat will permanently close its doors. In July and August, the reading room will be closed. The collections and our services will not be available then. The new library building at Hopland 13 opens to the general public on 30 August. From Monday 2 September, you are welcome to visit the reading room. 



You can consult the library collection, artists' documentation and archives of art historians in the reading room. Before your visit, read up on what you can expect from the service, and what conditions you must adhere to as a reader. 


  • Everyone is welcome to visit the Rubenianum. 
  • The A-card is the compulsory reader's card. 
  • You store your coat, (laptop) bag or (back) pocket and the like in a locker at the reception desk. 


  • The reading room is open every weekday from 8.30am to 12pm and from 1pm to 4.30pm.  
  • No document requests can be accepted between 12 and 1 pm and from 4 pm onwards. 
  • The Rubenianum is closed during legal holidays, and subsequent bridge days. These and other deviations from the opening hours are always announced on the website. 
  • The director or deputy may restrict the reading room service within the opening hours of the reading room in accordance with the service's capabilities.  
  • In case of fire alarm, or evacuation for any other reason, leave the building without hesitation. When doing so, follow the instructions of the Rubenianum staff. 



  • For each title or artwork folder, make an electronic document request. When requesting documentation, always specify the theme you are investigating. For periodicals and series, specify the volume and number.  
  • Special conditions may apply to some collection items and special collections. More information on site in the reading room. 
  • You take care of the works and materials entrusted to you. On receipt, you check their condition and have any damage ascertained by the reading room staff. Anyone who damages a work must pay compensation according to the replacement value of the item, and may be denied access to the reading room.  
  • You may not change the order of documents in the documentation folders. 
  • You may not make notes on the works, documents and folders, even in pencil.  
  • As all materials must remain available to internal and external users, borrowing materials is not possible. Upon request, the reading room staff will keep certain titles in storage in the reading room for up to four working days.  
  • If an item from the collection is (temporarily) untraceable, the reading room staff will work with you to find an alternative as far as possible.  
  • You return any used item from the collection to the reading room desk after consulting it. 


  • You respect the study atmosphere of the reading room. 
  • Eating, drinking, consulting and talking on the phone are done outside the reading room. You put the volume of your laptop, tablet, mobile phone or camera on mute.  
  • The reading room staff is at your disposal for questions, advice and help. You can turn to them for explanations about equipment, services or content about e-sources and reference books.  
  • Never leave your personal belongings unattended in the reading room. The Rubenianum is not responsible for theft. 
  • You keep the furniture and rooms clean. Smoking is prohibited in the entire building. Animals are not allowed. 
  • You may use the computers in the reading room for research in the catalogue, databases and inventories. This infrastructure may only be used for activities related to study and research. You can use the free Wi-Fi network with your own devices.  


  • Copies or prints will only be made by reading room staff. You owe a fee according to the current rates of the reproduction regulations of the City of Antwerp. 
  • You can take free photos of items from the collection for private use using the bookscanner or your own camera (neither flash nor tripod). 
  • Copyrighted items from the collection may never be reproduced in their entirety. 
  • If you wish to use a reproduction in a printed and/or electronic publication, you must contact the copyright holders yourself. 
  • You always comply with the Law on copyright and neighbouring rights (30 June 1994) and the Law transposing into Belgian law the European Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and neighbouring rights in the information society (22 May 2005). 
  • Data obtained from archives and documentation may only be used for your own study and research. You may not publish or otherwise disclose anything that could harm the interests of persons involved and/or other persons still alive. You may not disclose (private) data for which no permission to publish has been obtained to third parties. 


  • Your personal data are stored by the Rubenianum in a reader file and used for communication about the collections and your consultation. They are kept in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act (8 December 1992) and the Electronic Communications Act (13 June 2005). 
  • You can access your personal data via the online library catalogue, when you log in with your reader details. 
  • You have the right to access and, if necessary, correct your personal data in the library system. You can ask to correct any data that is incorrect, incomplete or inapplicable. You can have your personal data erased in the library system if you no longer wish to be a member. A written, dated and signed request and proof of your identity (copy of identity card) is sufficient.  


  • The Rubenianum makes every effort to facilitate your art history research. Did you still experience a problem in the reading room? Report your concern, question or complaint to