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.

Extent of the Catalogue

The Library and Photographic Archive catalogue lists the holdings of catalogued material in both the Library and Photographic Archives.

You can expect to find the following Library material on this catalogue:

  • all books (including individual essays within books), all exhibition catalogues, pamphlets and off-prints. This material also includes items on order or in the process of being fully catalogued
  • all journal titles and a list of the issue holdings. All articles of relevance to the collection published since 1998, searchable by title or author
  • all auction catalogues

How to search

The catalogue can be searched by author, title, key word /subject, type of material, date and by classification. For best results, it is advisable to search the Library and Photographic Archive catalogue using no more than three search terms. In addition, using obscure words will refine your search, e.g. ‘Gainsborough and cottage’. Using ‘and’, ‘or’ or ‘and not’ between the terms will allow you to search across different fields.

If you do not restrict a search to a particular type of material (books, exhibitions catalogues etc), a keyword search will give results for both library and photographic archive materials. Any photographic archive material found will appear together at the end of the list of search results.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

It is possible that you may not be able to find something we have because not all of the collection material is completely catalogued. This is an ongoing process and material is added on a regular basis. Please contact collections staff if you can’t find what you are looking for on the Library and Photographic Archive catalogue.

The following library material will not appear on the Library and Photographic Archive catalogue:

  • individual journal issues. Please see the list of Journal holdings which is also available in the Public Study Room

Other ways to access research resources

Library Hub Discover

Jisc Library Hub Discover exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of major UK and Irish libraries. In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s National Libraries (including the British Library), many university libraries, and specialist research libraries. This service, launched in July 2019, replaces Copac and SUNCAT, providing access to a growing range of library catalogues. The Centre’s Library and Photographic Archive holdings are included in this database, updated quarterly.

WorldCat is the world's largest network of library content and services. The Centre’s holdings are not included in this database.