The Reference Library collections are open to researchers of all types; students, scholars, and the general public are welcome to browse the nearly forty thousand titles and over eighty 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 two hundred thousand 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 Archives is the official repository for all historical documentation of the Center, recording its development from its inception in the mid-1960s to the present.
The Reference Library’s holdings, not including the Photograph and Institutional Archives, can be searched online either independently or in conjunction with the Center's art and rare books collections, as well as through Orbis, Yale Library’s online catalogue.
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.
While the Center undergoes a major building conservation project this year, access to the Reference Library will be restricted. From January through May 2015, and August 2015 through early February 2016, individuals will be able to gain access to the Reference Library between 10 am and 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Friday, by special arrangement, depending upon the construction schedule. Patrons should be aware that conditions may be less than ideal for study. The Library will be closed during June and July 2015.
Reference Library and Archives
Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel Street
P.O. Box 208280
New Haven, CT 06520-8280