Using the Collections

Joseph Wright of Derby, Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery, ca. 1768, oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

As both a public museum and a university research institute, the Center aims to promote the awareness, study, and enjoyment of its collection of British art. Using the Collections is intended to help scholars, students, and the general public learn more about using the Center’s physical and digital collections.

Accessing Collections

The Center makes every effort to enable visitors to see the works in its collection without hindrance. Entrance to the museum is always free and works of art on display, or housed in the Center’s Study Room, may be viewed without an appointment. Please note, however, that objects may be in storage, out on loan, undergoing conservation treatment, or otherwise unavailable for consultation. If you wish to see a specific object during your visit, you are strongly advised to contact the relevant curatorial department before you arrive to make sure it is accessible. Visit Accessing Collections to learn more.

Borrowing Objects

The Yale Center for British Art regularly lends objects from its collection for public educational purposes and to institutions practiced in mounting public exhibitions. All queries relating to loans should be addressed to the Registrar ( | +1 203 432 2833). Visit Borrowing Objects to learn more.

Online Collections

The Center is committed to using technology to advance the study of its collections by allowing unrestricted access to its entire holdings online to as broad a public as possible. Visit Online Collections to learn more.

Teaching with Collections

The Center welcomes educators who wish to use the collections for teaching, whether it is a kindergarten class or a group of graduate students. Visit Teaching with Collections to learn more.


The Center is committed to using technology to make its collections as accessible as possible. Our collection data is exposed via the web in both a human and machine readable format. The human readable format, the online collection, allows users to search and view documents as well as images through the web and on mobile devices. Visit Technology to learn more.

Using Images

Thousands of images of works in the Center’s collection believed to be in the public domain are available for free through the Center’s online collection catalogue. Under Yale University’s Open Access Policy, anyone may use the Center’s open access material without further application, authorization, or fees due to the Center or to Yale. Visit Using Images to learn more.