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Conducting Research

For most researchers, the first step in conducting research in the Gallery Archives is to send an email to archives staff ([email protected]), providing as much information as possible about the subject and purpose of your research or the information you are seeking. Archives staff will respond to confirm whether sources are available in the Gallery Archives and to direct you to materials that may be of interest.

Appointments are required to use records in the Gallery Archives Research Room. The archives research room is open to the public by appointment from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays).

Appointments may be requested via email, by completing our online form, or by calling the archives at 202-842-6615.


Finding aids are guides to the collections of records and papers in the Gallery Archives. These finding aids provide historical or biographical information about the creator of the records, describe the organization of the materials, and list the folders with brief descriptions of their contents. Select finding aids are available online, as well as the Guide to the Oral History Collection (PDF, 372KB).

Computer-based full-text subject access is available in the research room for all oral history transcripts and finding aids. All finding aids are available for consultation in the research room.

To explore digitized archival collections and associated materials, visit the Gallery Archives main page.

Visiting the Gallery Archives

The Gallery Archives is located in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. At the time of your appointment, Gallery Archives staff will meet you at the Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue lobby information desk, unless other arrangements have been made.

Researchers must leave coats and large bags in museum checkrooms before coming to the Gallery Archives Research Room. Government-issued identification may be required to enter the museum and use archival materials.

Archives staff will escort you to the Gallery Archives Research Room, which is located in a nonpublic area of the museum, at the top of a flight of stairs. Please let archives staff know in advance if the stairs present any problem and we will be pleased to make alternate arrangements.

Upon arrival in the research room, you will be required to review the research room regulations and complete a researcher registration form. 

Copies of Archival Materials

Digital photography of archival materials for reference use is encouraged. Paper targets identifying the source of the documents will be provided and must be included in every frame. The use of flash or supplemental lighting is not permitted.

If a researcher is not able to make personal digital copies, scans or photocopies of a reasonable number of documents may be requested. To protect originals, copies must be made by Gallery Archives staff and all copying is subject to the determination that it will not harm the materials.

Copies of archival materials may be used for personal research purposes only and may not be reproduced without further permission.

Archival Photographs

Many photographs have been digitized and may be studied in detail at a work station in the research room. Limited reference scans can be provided on request. If an image has been digitized, access to the original will be granted by special request only.

Use Policies

The Gallery Archives seeks to make research materials available for study as soon as possible and to the fullest extent possible. In some instances, however, files must be temporarily restricted to protect personal privacy or the interests of ongoing National Gallery business, or must be closed because of donor restrictions.

Use of oral histories is governed by written legal agreements with interviewees, which in some cases limit access to portions of interview transcripts or tape recordings. Archives staff will provide up-to-date information on available interviews on request.



Gallery Archives
Telephone: 202-842-6615
Fax: 202-842-6948
Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address
Gallery Archives
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785

Research Room Location
National Gallery of Art West Building
Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20565