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National Gallery of Art Archives collections form a rich body of primary source information about the museum’s past and development and the history and culture of the United States.

National Gallery of Art Records

Institutional records consist of correspondence, photographs, printed material, architectural records, audio and visual recordings, oral histories, digital assets, and other documentary items about the museum’s past and development, including its exhibitions, acquisitions, programs, activities, and buildings.

Special Collections

Special collections include the papers of National Gallery donors, collectors, staff, and related individuals; the World War II files of the Monuments Officers; and the Index of American Design Records. 

Conducting Research

Please contact [email protected] for information about our holdings or to request an appointment to consult our archival materials.

Selected finding aids–guides to collections of records and papers in the archives–are available online.

Our reading room is open by appointment, Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding federal holidays). Please allow a minimum of two weeks' advance notice for planned visits.

Visiting the Archives

We ask all researchers to review the research room rules (PDF 161KB) and complete a registration form (PDF 150KB) prior to their appointment.

Government-issued identification, such as a driver's license or passport, is required to gain entry to the research room, located in a nonpublic area of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art.