National Gallery Library

Contact details

Website: E-mail (general enquiries): Tel: +44 (0)20 7747 2542

Photo of National Gallery

About the library

The library was established in 1870 with the purchase of the private library (consisting of some 2,000 volumes) of the late Sir Charles Eastlake, first Director of the National Gallery. It now contains around 100,000 printed volumes relevant to the study of the history of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the early 20th century.

The library's holdings include: monographs, catalogues raisonnés, exhibition catalogues, and pamphlets; works on iconography; permanent and private collection catalogues from the United Kingdom and elsewhere; early guidebooks and source works consisting of a few thousand published before 1850; catalogues of picture sales from major auction houses and commercial dealers; and over 250 periodical titles, of which 150 are current.

The local Library catalogue is available online. The Library is open to researchers needing to consult items in the library's collection which may not be reasonably accessible in other libraries.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Copac? No.

Can I obtain items via Inter Library Loan? No.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - see the Library's web site for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance to ensure the material you need will be available.

How do I find primary source material held at this institution? Visit the National Gallery Archive's website for more information.


National Gallery Library data on Copac

Example record from the National Gallery Library's collections:

Habiti antichi et moderni di tutto il mondo / [By Cesare Vecellio]
  In Venetia, 1598

You can browse all the titles on Copac starting with the above title.