Reference Library and Photo Archives

Effective August 1, 2024, the Reference Library will be unavailable through the end of 2024.


Please email to schedule a visit. Kindly note that the Reference Library requires a notice of twenty-four hours to confirm an appointment. 

Hours and registration

The Reference Library is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm by appointment through August 1, 2024. Scan & Deliver services for the Reference Library will not be available at this time. 

Please email to schedule your visit at least twenty-four hours in advance. 

Non-Yale visitors must first create an account using our online system, Aeon

Reference Library access is contingent upon the construction schedule. Access may be restricted with little to no advance notice. 

Schedule your visit

Reference Library

The Reference Library collections are open to researchers of all types who are welcome to browse over 40,000 titles and over 120 current periodicals devoted to British art, artists, and culture from the fifteenth century to the present.

The collections include all of the essential reference works on British artists and 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 as well.

Photograph Archives

The Photograph Archives, located within the Reference Library, is a study collection of almost 150,000 photographic reproductions of British works of art from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century. The archives represents both public and private collections worldwide with a particular focus on collections in the United States, Canada, and Australia. 

The Reference Library’s holdings, exclusive of the Photograph 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.

Research Resources

The Reference Library staff will provide responses to questions about artists and objects in the museum’s collections as well as about British artists. Please be as specific as possible with your request.

Ask a Librarian

Explore the YCBA's Collections

Over 100,000 records from the Paintings and Sculpture, Prints and Drawings, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Reference Library, and Archives collections are searchable online, along with nearly all of the museum's historic frames.

Begin your search

Philippe Mercier, The Sense of Sight (detail), 1744 to 1747

Contact the Reference Library and Photograph Archives at | +1 203 432 2818 | +1 203 432 7180 fax