The Archive also contains collections of private papers, relating to staff or Trustees of the Gallery, and to private picture collections.
The private papers include:
- Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, travel notebooks. As Director of the National Gallery, 1855 – 1865, Eastlake travelled throughout Europe, making detailed notes of pictures in private and public collections.
- Abraham Hume, correspondence relating to his activities as an art collector 1787 – 1805
- Sir William Boxall, Director of the National Gallery 1866 – 1874, and portrait painter. Extensive correspondence relating to his Directorship, family and social life. Includes travel diaries observing pictures in private and public collections in Europe, and correspondence with Sir Edwin Landseer
- Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Keeper of the National Gallery 1855 – 1877. Extensive papers, spanning 1830s – 1870s: relating to Gallery administration, and the Swedenborg Movement. Includes a detailed diary of daily activities at the Gallery, 1855 – 1877
- Philip Hendy, Director of the National Gallery 1946 – 1967. Papers relating to his Directorship of Leeds City Art Gallery and its wartime evacuation, post-war recovery of the National Gallery, and the development of the Israel Museum 1967 – 1970
The Archive does not hold collections of artists' papers, but correspondence with many artists, such as Edwin Landseer, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, is scattered throughout the Gallery's records and the private papers.