Reading room regulations

In the reading room you can consult the library collection, the archives and documentation on works of art. Please read the information on the services that are provided and the regulations with which visitors are expected to comply before your visit.

Please find the official reading room regulations in PDF-file here (in Dutch). The general house rules are to be found below.

Conditions of admission

  • Everyone is welcome to visit the Rubenianum.
  • Every visitor is required to obtain a reader’s card, known as an ‘A card’.
  • Coats and bags (including laptop bags) must be stored away in a locker in the reception area.


Opening hours

  • The reading room is open on weekdays. Please check this page for the most recent opening hours and closing dates:
  • It is not possible to deal with requests for documents between 12 noon and 1 p.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • The Rubenianum is closed on public holidays and ‘days of obligation’ forming long weekends before or after these days. All such departures from the institution’s regular opening hours are announced on the website.
  • The director or deputy directory is authorized to restrict the services provided by the reading room during its normal opening hours if necessary. 
  • In the event of a fire alarm, or if visitors are instructed to evacuate the building for any other reason, all visitors should leave the building immediately. In so doing, visitors should follow the instructions of the Rubenianum’s staff.


Consulting the collections

  • You can submit an electronic request to consult a document by title or by specifying the artwork file you wish to inspect. When requesting to see a document, always include the theme that you are studying. When requesting a journal or a volume in a series, specify which volume and issue you wish to see. 
  • Some items in the collection and certain special collections are governed by special rules. You can find more information about this in the reading room.
  • Whenever a work or certain materials are entrusted to you, you are responsible for taking care of them. When they are handed to you, inspect their condition and ensure that the reading room staff member notes down any damage. Anyone who damages an item will be charged a sum of money in accordance with the item’s replacement value and may be denied admission to the reading room.       
  • You may not alter the order of the documents in the files.
  • It is not permissible to make any notes (even in pencil) on the works, documents or files. 
  • Since all materials must remain available to be consulted by internal and external users, it is not possible to borrow materials and to remove them from the building. Reading room staff will set aside certain titles in the reading room at a user’s request for a maximum of four weekdays. 
  • If a particular item in the collection proves (temporarily) impossible to locate, the reading room staff will do their utmost (within their means) to help you find an alternative. 
  • After consulting an item from the collection, you must return it to the reading room desk.


Atmosphere conducive to study

  • Please respect the atmosphere in the reading room, which should at all times be conducive to study.
  • It is not permissible to eat, drink, talk or use the telephone in the reading room. The volume of your laptop, tablet, mobile phone and camera should be muted. 
  • The reading room staff will be happy to answer your questions, provide advice and help where needed. Do not hesitate to ask them to explain the use of equipment or the available services, or to explain the substantive aspects of digital resources or reference works. 
  • Do not leave your personal effects unsupervised in the reading room. The Rubenianum cannot be held liable in the event of theft.
  • Please keep the rooms and furnishing clean. Smoking is not allowed in any part of the building. Animals are not allowed.
  • You can use the computers in the reading room to search the catalogue, databases and inventories. This infrastructure can be used exclusively for activities relating to study and research. You can use the free wifi network on your own devices. 


Reproductions and reuse of data

  • Copies and prints can only be made by reading room personnel. These must be paid for in accordance with the current fees as laid down in the reproduction regulations of the municipality of Antwerp.
  • You can use the book scanner or your own camera (provided you do not use flash or a tripod) to take photographs, free of charge, of items in the collection for your own personal use.
  • Items in the collection that are protected by copyright can never be reproduced in their entirety.
  • If you want to use a reproduction in a printed or electronic publication, you should contact the rights holders yourself.
  • You must at all times adhere to the Act on Copyright and Neighboring Rights of 30 June 1994 (Wet betreffende het auteursrecht en de naburige rechten) and the Act implementing in Belgian law EU Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001 on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and neighboring rights in the information society (22 May 2005). 
  • The data obtained from archives and documentation may only be used for personal study and research. You may not publish or otherwise disclose anything that affects the interests of persons involved and/or could harm other persons who are still alive. (Private) data for which no permission for publication has been obtained may not be disclosed to third parties.


Personal data and privacy

  • Your personal data are stored by the Rubenianum in a readers’ database and used for communication about the collections and your consultation of them. They are stored in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act of 8 December 1992 for the protection of privacy with respect to the processing of personal data and the Electronic Communications Act of 13 June 2005. 
  • You can access your own personal data through the online library catalogue when you log in using your A-card code and password.
  • You are entitled to inspect your personal data in the library system and to modify them where appropriate. You can ask for data that are incorrect, incomplete or no longer applicable to be corrected. You can ask for your personal data to be deleted from the library system if you no longer wish to be a member, by submitting a written, signed and dated request to this effect, together with proof of identity (e.g. a copy of your ID card). 


Contact address

  • The Rubenianum does its best to help and support those engaged in research on art-historical subjects. Have you nonetheless experienced a problem in the reading room? Please address your concern, question or complaint to