Reference Library and Photograph Archives

The Reference Library is closed until further notice. It is currently providing scan and deliver services to Yale students, faculty, and staff. Learn more here.



Reference Library

The Reference Library collections are open to researchers of all types: students, scholars, and the general public 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 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 stations for viewing a rich collection of the Center’s past lectures and programs.

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 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


The Reference Library is closed until further notice. It is currently providing scan and deliver services to Yale students, faculty, and staff. Learn more here.

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 | +1 203 432 2818 | +1 203 432 7180 fax