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Conducting Research

For most researchers, the first step in conducting research in the Gallery Archives is to send an email ([email protected]) to archives staff, 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.

Select finding aids are available online, as well as the Guide to the Oral History Collection. 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.

To explore digitized archival collections and associated materials, visit the Gallery Archives main page or see Resources menu on the left.  

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). A minimum of at least two weeks before planned visits is requested.  

Appointments may be requested via email or by completing our online form.

Visiting the Gallery Archives

The Gallery Archives is located in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. At the appointment time, Gallery Archives staff will meet researchers 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 entering the Gallery Archives research room. See regulations concerning use of the checkrooms. Government-issued identification may be required to enter the Gallery and use archival materials.

Gallery Archives staff will escort researchers 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 inform archives staff in advance if stairs present a problem so alternate arrangements can be made.

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

Digital photography of archival materials for reference use is encouraged.