National Portrait Gallery Library

Contact details

Website: Email: Telephone: +44 (0)20 7321 6617

About the library

The National Portrait Gallery has collected library materials since the founding of the Gallery in 1856, and the Heinz Archive & Library now holds approximately 35,000 books and exhibition catalogues, runs of 150 periodical titles (70 currently received), catalogues from sales featuring portraits from 1866 to the present, a collection of approximately 600 rare books, and a small number of theses and dissertations. Additionally, the Archive & Library holds extensive image files organized by sitter and by artist, an index of over 1,000,000 references to portraits, the Gallery's Reference Collection of prints and drawings, and its Archive Collections: Gallery Records (the institutional records of the Gallery which date from its foundation to the present day) and a number of Collected Archives (material acquired from external sources because of its relevance to the study of British portraiture).

The library actively collects materials pertaining to portraiture, biography and British culture and history. It welcomes donations of relevant papers submitted for research degrees, which are made available to the public only under supervision.

National Portrait Gallery archive also contributes to the Archives Hub. To browse descriptions of their archive materials, visit their Archives Hub information page.

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 National Portrait Gallery Library's records in Library Hub Discover here.