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.
A significant donation of 800 books was received from the late architectural historian and writer John Cornforth (1937-2004). His collection was initially bequeathed to the National Trust but subsequently transferred to the Centre in August 2004. This collection added considerably to the Centre’s holdings on the history of the country house, including those in Northern Ireland, and 18th century decorative arts.
This collection has been fully catalogued on our library and photographic archive catalogue.
John Lawley Cornforth (1937-2004) was an architectural historian and writer. He wrote articles for Country Life from 1961-1993 and worked for the National Trust for many years. His specialism was the 17th and 18th century country house.