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Research Centre

Research is a constant and fundamental activity at the National Gallery, helping to underpin many areas of the Gallery’s work.

The Research Centre is open to external readers from Tuesday to Friday between 10am and 5pm.

We are also open for online enquiries.

 Contact us

Email: research.centre@nationalgallery.org.uk

National Gallery Research Centre
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DN

About

The National Gallery Research Centre supports the Gallery’s research strategy and ensures that its research resources are made available to the widest possible audience, including both national and international visitors and digital users, as well as Gallery staff. 

It has primary responsibility for managing, conserving and providing access to the Gallery's library and archive collections. Additionally, Research Centre staff are engaged in planning and supporting academic programmes, including seminars, colloquia, study days and conferences, as well as working closely with research-active staff across the Gallery, academic partners and collaborators.

Access

The Research Centre is open to visiting academics and post-graduate students. The National Gallery's public records are available within the Centre to all members of the public with an appointment in advance.

Although the Research Centre is not generally available to undergraduate students, those who require access can be accommodated if they provide a letter of recommendation (in advance of a visit) from an academic referee indicating the need to visit the Research Centre.

The Library and Archive

About the Library

Established in 1870 with the purchase of the private library of some 2,000 volumes 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.

Find out more about the Library

About the Archive

The National Gallery Archive contains records of the Gallery's activities from its foundation in 1824 to the present day. The archive holds public records generated by the Gallery itself, and private papers relating to individuals or activities closely associated with the Gallery.

Find out more about the Archive

Finding aids

Please note that the National Gallery Library does not offer a general art library service, which is provided by the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Researchers are welcome to contact the Research Centre for information about individual items in the library's collection which may not be reasonably accessible in other libraries.

Archive catalogue

Search the National Gallery Archive containing records of the Gallery's activities from its foundation in 1824 to the present day.

Search the Archive catalogue

Search the Library catalogue

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.

Search the Library catalogue

Board minutes (1828–1918)

Eight volumes of the minutes of the Board of
Trustees and the corresponding indexes.

Search the Board minutes

Agnew's stock books

Eleven stock books from the archive of Thos. Agnew and Sons. Dating from 1853 until the beginning of the First World War, the stock books provide information about the paintings, prices and clients that Agnew’s dealt with.

Search Agnew's stock books