Reference Library and Photograph Archives

The Reference Library is open to Yale ID holders by appointment only during the 2021 summer term. Please use this form to schedule your visit. Reservations can be made in one-hour segments from Tuesday to Friday, 10 am–3 pm. The Reference Library is also providing scan and deliver services to Yale students, faculty, and staff. Learn more here.

Reference Library

The Reference Library collections are open to Yale 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.

Hours

The Reference Library is open to Yale ID holders by appointment only during the 2021 summer term. Please use the form below to schedule your visit. Reservations can be made in one-hour segments from Tuesday to Friday, 10 am–3 pm.

The Reference Library is also providing scan and deliver services to Yale students, faculty, and staff. Learn more here.

Schedule your visit

Previsit requirements

To access the Reference Library, visitors must

  • Schedule an appointment using this form at least 24 hours in advance. *Please note that a Yale CAS login is required and appointments are scheduled in one-hour segments. If more than one hour is needed, reserve back-to-back sessions (there is no reservation limit).        
  • Contact ycba.reference@yale.edu to request collection materials at least one business day before a scheduled visit.
Request your materials

Visitor guidelines

At present only Yale ID holders will be permitted to use the Center’s Reference Library. In compliance with health and safety guidelines for reducing occupancy, we are unable to extend access to other patron groups until further notice. This policy is mandated by Yale University and the Center as part of the on-campus response to COVID-19

To use the Reference Library, visitors must

  • Wear a mask at all times.
  • Bring your Yale ID and check in at the front entrance.
  • Complete your daily health check before arriving.
  • Use only the designated seat assigned to you.
  • Consume no food or drink.
  • Refrain from entering the book stacks, as they are closed to patrons. Museum staff will retrieve requested materials.
  • Disinfect their seating area. Hand sanitizer will be provided as well as other cleaning supplies.

Research Resources

The Center’s 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

Study Room

The Study Room provides access to works in the Center’s Prints and Drawings, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Institutional Archives collections. The Study Room is also used for teaching from these collections, and staff members are available for advice on planning classes.

Learn more

Explore the Center's Collections

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

Begin your search

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

Contact the Reference Library and Photograph Archives at ycba.reference@yale.edu | +1 203 432 2818 | +1 203 432 7180 fax