Archives & Library

Library Collections

The library collections cover British painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, decorative arts, architecture and garden history from the medieval period to the present day. The collections on British artists and architects, the British and Irish country house and the eighteenth-century Grand Tour are particularly strong.

The Library’s purpose is to provide scholars and research students with the facilities to study British art and architecture, and its collections comprise of almost 26,000 books, pamphlets, exhibition catalogues and theses. The Library collection is available to students and scholars to assist their research into British art.

We collect monographs, biographies and catalogues raisonnés on artists, as well as catalogues of public and private collections.

In addition to this, the library collects relevant PhD theses from North American universities, alongside a number of donated British, Irish and European dissertations.

There is a small collection of rare books including 18th century Grand Tour guides.

These materials have all been catalogued on our library and photographic archive catalogue. For further information regarding our collection policy, please see the Library Collection Development Policy.

A library room with bookshelves and four tables set up for study

Martine La Roche, Public Study Room, 16 Bedford Square