He first studied theology at Leiden University but changed to archaeology apparently after meeting with Caspar Reuvens. In 1834 he was employed at the Leiden Museum and while there became successor to Reuvens as Director, during 1839. He continued in this capacity until sometime during 1891. Leemans organised the first public display of collections of acquisitions made by Reuvens, compiled a catalogue of Egyptian objects (Catalogue raisonnée, 1840), and edited the serial publication of the Monumens égyptiens, this being a lithographic account detailing the collection.
Leemans studied the Leiden papyrus while Director of the museum, completing the work begun by Reuvens on this. But while executing the task, Leemans at some time added to the papyri a form of vegetable paper, which was added by him in order to preserve the artifact. Either the paper or glue used to affix the paper has degraded causing some of the writing to become obscured, and Leemans' addition is thought to be fixed permanently, since otherwise too great damage would be done to the artifact in its removal.
- Friends of Saqqara Foundation Bio of Conradus Leemans [Retrieved 2015-06-28]
- Griffith, F. Ll. (Francis Llewellyn), 1862-1934, ed; Thompson, Herbert, Sir, 1859-1944, joint ed The Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden published London, H. Grevel & co 1904, Clarendon Press Oxford 1931 [Retrieved 2015-06-28](see also the Internet Archive copy)
- "C. Leemans (1809 - 1893)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
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