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Archive reference number



The first three sub-series of account books are: the registers of account with the Government; the petty cash books; miscellaneous account books. These are the manual records of accounts which predate the computerised accounting system now used by the Finance Department. A further two sub-series contain recent financial records that have been arranged in a similar style to early records, and a series of records consisting of internal department audits and monthly financial reports.

Record type


Administrative history

The Gallery's finances were initially the responsibility of the Director and Keeper and two main series of accounts were kept. One recorded the account between the Gallery and the Treasury and the other recorded the Gallery's expenditure. Often the information contained within these two series overlaps. During the 20th century the management of the Gallery's finances became more professional and the Gallery appointed its first accountant in 1929. In 1961 the administration underwent a major revision, to remove routine administrative work from the Director, Keeper and their deputies, to allow them to devote more time to scholarly and strategic responsibilities. The Senior Executive Officer became responsible for security, uniformed staff, buildings and accounts. In 1988, the Gallery 'untied' from the Property Services Agency, assuming full responsibility for the management of its buildings and staff. The increased demands of the new responsibilities immediately led the Finance and Personnel Departments to upgrade management, financial and planning systems. A Bursar and a Finance Officer, who was a qualified accountant, were appointed and in 1990 a separate Finance Department was established. Computerised personnel and accounting systems went live on 1 April 1992 which effectively ended the old manual accounting systems.

Custodial history

The account books and associated materials were created by the National Gallery and are now held in the Gallery's Archive.

Related material

Records of Trust Fund accounts are seperately catalogued in NG21.

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