National Gallery of Art - RESOURCES

Art Research Library

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The National Gallery of Art Library is a major national art research center serving the Gallery's staff, members of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, visiting scholars, and the scholarly community at large.

Reference staff responds to inquiries by telephone, mail, and e-mail. Researchers may request materials through the library's online catalogue and consult these materials in the reading room only. A photocopy machine is located in the reading room.

The library contains a wide-ranging collection of more than 400,000 books, periodicals, and documents on the history, theory, and criticism of art and architecture. The emphasis is on Western art from the Middle Ages to the present (particularly Italian, Dutch, Flemish, German, French, Spanish, and British schools) and American art from the colonial era to the present. Microform collections, along with extensive vertical files, supplement the library's book holdings.

Other strengths of the collection include monographs on individual artists as well as international exhibition, museum, and private collection catalogues. The library holds approximately 2,600 periodical titles, of which about 1,000 are current. It also subscribes to all categories of auction catalogues from all major American and European auction houses and has a rich retrospective collection of catalogues from the seventeenth century to the present.

The department of image collections is recognized as one of the largest and most important visual archives in the world. The library also maintains a rare book room containing exceptional resources for study and research. Telephone the reference librarian for details.

Monday, noon to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(except federal holidays)
Please call the reference librarian at (202) 842-6511 or use a Web form to request an appointment.
To contact the department of image collections, please call (202) 842-6026.

Further Information
Reading Room Guidelines (PDF 80k)
(Download Acrobat Reader)

National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC 20565
Telephone: (202) 842-6511
Contact us via a Web form