About the library
The Warburg Institute Library holds a collection of international importance in the humanities. Its 360,000 volumes, available on open shelves, make it the largest collection in the world focused on Renaissance studies and the history of the classical tradition. It includes a large number of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century continental books and periodicals (especially German and Italian) unavailable elsewhere in the UK, as well as several thousand pre-1800 items.
The categories of Image, Word, Orientation and Action constitute the main divisions of the Warburg Institute Library and encapsulate its aim: to study the tenacity of symbols and images in European art and architecture (Image, 1st floor); the persistence of motifs and forms in Western languages and literatures (Word, 2nd floor); the gradual transition, in Western thought, from magical beliefs to religion, science and philosophy (Orientation, 3rd & 4th floor) and the survival and transformation of ancient patterns in social customs and political institutions (Action, 4th floor).
Our Research Guides provide a practical in-depth guide to the Library’s collections.
British Library inter-library loan codes
For an explanation of these codes, and for more information on arranging inter-library loans, see the inter-library loans page on the British Library website.
Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? Yes.
Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? Yes - subject to the library's local lending policy. See their website for details. You must request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff for advice on ordering an item.
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 Warburg Institute's records in Library Hub Discover here.