External Visitors

We are pleased to welcome the following visitors to The Courtauld Libraries:

  • Samuel Courtauld Society members
  • Courtauld Friends members
  • Image Libraries reader’s card holders
  • Courtauld alumni
  • Students and staff from other universities, including via the SCONUL Access scheme
  • Museum and gallery staff
  • Independent researchers

Please book ahead of your visit, using the calendar links below, so that we are able to offer the space and support that you need.

Please provide as much information as possible about the material you wish to see so that we can ensure availability. 

 

 

Booking an appointment

  1. Choose whether you wish to view:

books, exhibition catalogues or theses at Vernon Square – calendar 

the Image Libraries at Somerset House – calendar

journals, sales catalogues or special collections at Somerset House – calendar

The calendars show the available times

2. Choose the session that suits you
Each session lasts one hour and 45 minutes

3. Share your details
We will use your email address to confirm your booking and arrangements for visiting Vernon Square or Somerset House

4. Tell us as much as you can about the material you would like to see
You will be able to browse the shelves at Vernon Square but we will need to recall theses and some exhibition catalogues from our off-site store.

We will fetch anything you wish to see at Somerset House as you are unable to browse the collections we hold there. Please note we can retrieve a maximum of 10 boxes or items for each booking. Some temporary restrictions apply please see our Witt Library page for further details.

5. Check your email for confirmation of your booking
We will share details of arrangements for visiting the libraries at Vernon Square or Somerset House and send you a reminder the day before your booking. Do not travel to Vernon Square or Somerset House unless a member of the Libraries team has confirmed your visit.

6. Follow these instructions when you arrive
You can arrive any time during your appointment but we will ask you to leave at the end of your booking so we can prepare the spaces for others 

You can find more information about using The Courtauld’s Libraries as an external visitor in the FAQs below. If you need assistance, please contact us. 

Travelling to the Libraries

Please see our Getting Here page for details of travel to Vernon Square and Somerset House. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a Courtauld student or staff member – can I use the Libraries?

Yes. You must book in advance and tell us what you would like to see.

Do I need to book an appointment to use the Libraries?

Yes. External visitors must book in advance so we can make sure we are able to offer the space and support you need. 

You need to detail the material you wish to consult when you book so we can retrieve it for you. 

How far in advance can I book an appointment?

You can book an appointment up to two weeks in advance. The booking system shows the available appointments on days the Image Libraries are open. 

How soon can I book an appointment to use the Libraries?

Libraries staff need three working days’ notice to check that we can make the material you wish to see available for your visit. You can see the next available appointment in the booking system. Please note that we need six working days to recall theses from our remote store. 

How much material can I request?

You can request a maximum of 10 boxes or items. If your request covers more than 10 boxes or items, we will fetch the first 10. You should make further bookings if you need to consult additional material. 

Please note, some temporary restrictions apply to the Witt & Conway library due to building works in the lower ground floor. Please visit the Witt Library page for more details.

What if my request covers more than 10 boxes or items?

We will contact you for more detail so we can narrow down your request. If we do not hear from you, we will fetch the first 10. You should make further bookings if you need to consult additional material. 

Can I browse the Libraries?

You can browse the library at Vernon Square but not the Image Libraries or collections at Somerset House. Please note that we will need to recall theses and some exhibition catalogues from our remote store and that this will take six working days. 

I have not had confirmation that the material I wish to see is available – should I travel to Vernon Square or Somerset House?

No. Please contact us before travelling so Library staff can check that we can make the images you wish to see available. 

I forgot something – can I request additional material?

No. We cannot accommodate additional requests before or during your visit as we may need to retrieve material from around the building or our off-site store. You should make further bookings if you need to consult more images. 

Can I arrive early or late for my appointment?

You will only be able to enter the libraries at Vernon Square at Somerset House from the start of your booking. You can arrive any time during your appointment, but Libraries staff will ask you to leave at the end of your booking so we prepare the spaces for others. 

What precautions is The Courtauld taking to keep me safe while using the libraries?

You can find details of how The Courtauld is managing the risk of COVID-19 and keeping everyone staff safe on our Coronavirus: updates and FAQs web pages. 

Do I need to wear a face covering during my appointment?

Yes. Please wear a face covering at all times while you are at Vernon Square or Somerset House unless you are medically exempt. 

Can you tell me whether a particular artist is represented in the Witt Library?

Yes. Library staff will advise whether the Witt Library includes images of works by the artist you are interested in. We can retrieve up to 10 boxes for you to check for individual works of art. You should make further bookings if you need to consult more images. 

Can you tell me whether a particular work of art or architecture is represented in the Conway Library?

Library staff will advise whether the Conway Library includes examples of the art and architecture you are interested in. 

We can retrieve up to 10 boxes for you to check for individual works. You should make further bookings if you need to consult more images. 

What if I need help using the Libraries?

A member of Library staff will be on hand throughout your appointment. Alternatively, you can visit our web pages or contact us for advice. 

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