External Visitors

The Courtauld libraries are open to external visitors by appointment only.

You can find details of how to book and visiting FAQs on this page. 

Please contact us at library@courtauld.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 20 3947 7627 for further assistance. 

Who can visit the Courtauld libraries?

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

  • Courtauld Patrons
  • Courtauld Friends members
  • Courtauld alumni
  • Museum and gallery staff
  • Independent researchers
  • Image Libraries reader’s card holders
  • Students and staff from other universities;
  • SCONUL Access scheme members (more information on this page)

Booking an appointment

  1. Choose whether you wish to view:

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 only use your email address to confirm your booking and for visiting arrangements

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. These can take 5-6 working days to arrive on-site.

You can browse the Witt Library and the Conway Library but will need to request journals, sales catalogues or special collections in advance so we can fetch them for you.

5. Check your email for confirmation of your booking
We will send you a booking confirmation email and an automatic reminder the day before your booking. 

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 on this page. If you need assistance, please contact us. 

SCONUL Access Visitors

The Courtauld Libraries participates in the SCONUL Access scheme under ‘Band A only’. This means that visitors wishing to access the Courtauld Libraries under the scheme (and have the associated borrowing entitlements) must be either PhD/research students or staff from other participating institutions.

If you were previously had a SCONUL membership of the Courtauld Libraries and it has since expired, you must reapply to the scheme before visiting us.

If you have not previously had a SCONUL membership of the Courtauld Libraries, you must apply to the scheme before visiting us.

(SCONUL membership is a two step process: firstly, joining the scheme online and waiting for confirmation from your home institution; secondly, checking the visitor opening hours etc. of the Library that you want to visit and then booking your visit.)

You can find more information on the scheme on the SCONUL Access webpages. You can find our opening times here, and you can email us at library@courtauld.ac.uk

Travelling to the Libraries

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

Please note, due to the impact of temporary building works there is no lift access at Somerset House. Wheelchair users and those with accessibility needs please contact us for arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes. You must book in advance.

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 libraries are open. 

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

You can see the next available appointment in the booking system. Please do not travel to The Courtauld if you wish to see exhibition catalogues, journals, sales catalogues, special collections or thesis until a member of Libraries staff confirms they are available

Can I browse the Libraries?

You can browse the library at Vernon Square and the Witt Library and the Conway Library at Somerset House but not the journals, sales catalogues or special collections there

I have not had confirmation that the exhibition catalogue, journal, sales catalogue, special collections material, or thesis 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 the material you wish to see is 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 another booking if you need to consult further material.

 

 

Can I arrive early or late for my appointment?

You will only be able to enter the libraries at Vernon Square or 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. 

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.

Please note, due to the impact of temporary building works there is no lift access at Somerset House. Wheelchair users and those with accessibility needs please contact us for arrangements.

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