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As a metropolitan institution, the University of Amsterdam has always been housed in old and new buildings scattered throughout the capital. Because the UvA is not a separate, secluded campus, students and native Amsterdamers readily mix, which allows Amsterdam to maintain close cultural and academic ties to the school. The majority of the UvA's buildings lie in the heart of Amsterdam, with only the faculties of Science, Medicine and Dentistry located outside the City Centre. The university lies within the largest megalopolis in the Netherlands, the Randstad, with a population 7.2 million inhabitants.
The Amsterdam University Library has an impressive stock of over four million volumes, and special collections of rare manuscripts, letters and maps. The collection is free for all university staff and students, and spread across 20 locations and a large book depot.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the city of Amsterdam are closely intertwined. The city is an obvious and ideal environment for the UvA: ‘the city is our campus’.