National Gallery Library

Contact details

Website: Email: Telephone: +44 (0)20 7747 2542

The National Gallery

About the library

The library was established in 1870 with the purchase of the private library of some 2,000 volumes belonging to the late Sir Charles Eastlake, the 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; over 250 periodical titles, of which 150 are current.

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

The local library catalogue is available online.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? No.

Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? No - this library does not participate in the inter-library lending scheme.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - see the library's website for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance, to ensure that they can accommodate you and that the material you need will be available.


Browse all of the National Gallery Library's records in Library Hub Discover here.