The Reference Library collections are open to researchers of all types; students, scholars, and the general public are welcome to browse the 30,000 titles and over 80 current periodicals devoted to British art, artists, and culture from the sixteenth century to the present day. The collections include all of the essential reference works on British artists, but also contain resources on British architecture, print and book culture, performing arts, costume, town and county histories, and travel books. The Reference Library maintains a growing and vital collection of art conservation and technical analysis materials and offers a station for viewing a rich collection of the Center’s past lectures and programs.

The Photograph Archive, located within the Reference Library, is a study collection of more than 200,000 photographic reproductions of works of British art from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century. The archive represents both public and private collections worldwide with a particular focus on collections in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Center’s Institutional Archive, which was created in 2009, holds over 1,000 linear feet of records and hundreds of architectural drawings that document the Center’s construction and stewardship from the mid-1960s onward.

The Reference Library’s holdings, not including the Photograph and Institutional Archives, can be searched either independently or in conjunction with the Center's art and rare books collections through Collections Search, as well as through Orbis, Yale Library’s online catalogue.

photo by richard caspole

Research Resources
History of British Art Research Guide
Technical Art History and Conservation Research
British Country Houses, Gardens, and Castles

Reference Library FAQs
Reading Room Policies and Proceedures

Ask a YCBA Librarian
The Center's Reference Library will provide brief responses to questions about artists and objects in the Museum's collections. Please be as specific as possible with your request.

Academic Year
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 am–4:30 pm; Wednesday, 10 am–8:00 pm; Sunday 12–4:30 pm

Tuesday–Friday, 10 am–4:30 pm

Yale College hosts complete Yale academic calendars; Yale University Library lists current library hours.

Contact the Department

Reference Library and Archives
Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel Street
P.O. Box 208280
New Haven, CT 06520-8280

+1 203 432 2818
+1 203 432 7180 fax


Chief Librarian
+1 203 432 2846

Senior Archivist
+1 203 432 8395

Assistant Librarian
+1 203 432 2848

Senior Library Assistant
+1 203 432 7689

Library Assistant
+1 203 432 2818

Senior Library Catalogue Assistant
+1 203 432 2818