Accessing Collections

Study Room, second floor, Yale Center for British Art, photograph © Elizabeth Felicella / ESTO

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.

Accessing Paintings and Sculpture

Only about a quarter of the paintings and sculpture collection is typically installed in the galleries at any one time. The online database includes the entire collection of paintings and sculpture and provides information on whether or not an object is currently on display. Objects in the galleries can be seen during regular opening hours. If you wish to see a work of art that is not currently on view, or need special provisions to view a work in the galleries, please contact the Department of Paintings and Sculpture ( | +1 203 432 2844)

Please note: Access to stored objects is by prior appointment only as an object that is not on view may not necessarily be immediately accessible. You are advised to contact the department prior to your visit to avoid disappointment.

Accessing Prints, Drawings, Rare Books, and Manuscripts

The Study Room provides access to works in the Center’s Prints & Drawings and Rare Books & Manuscripts collections and is open to the public, Tuesday through Friday, 10 am–4:30 pm. Appointments are not required but are recommended for patrons traveling from outside the area. *The Study Room is closed on Mondays, Good Friday, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s.

The Study Room is also used for teaching and staff members are available for advice on planning classes. For further information, please contact the Study Room ( | +1 203 432 2840).

Reference Library and Archives

The Reference Library is open to the public, Tuesday through Friday, 10 am–4:30 pm. Appointments are not required but are recommended for patrons traveling from outside the area.

Library materials are noncirculating. Yale faculty may arrange with library staff to place books on reserve for their classes‚ and graduate students and the Center’s visiting fellows may arrange for a limited number of books to be charged to a Reference Library study carrel.

Library Services

Staff are available to provide guidance in formulating search strategies and in using both printed and electronic reference materials. Off-site researchers may submit reference inquiries via mail‚ e-mail, fax‚ or telephone regarding British and Irish artists and/or works of art.

Library Instruction and Tours

General and subject-specific instruction sessions on conducting library research at the Center and tours of the library may be arranged by appointment on a limited basis, contingent on the construction schedule. These sessions include information on searching the library’s manual and electronic catalogs and other databases. For further information, please contact the Reference Library and Archives ( | +1 203 432 2818).


The Reference Library has one self-service photocopier. Payment for copies must be made at the library’s information desk. The Reference Library has one self-service scanner that patrons may use free of charge.

Accessing Documentation on Collections

The Center keeps extensive records on its collections within the files held in each curatorial department. Over time, pertinent documentation will be made available in the online collections database, including full provenance, exhibition history, and bibliographic information for objects wherever possible. However, researchers wishing to consult the files are welcome to contact the appropriate curatorial department.