Book Library Admissions

Visitor Admissions

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Using the Library

Visitor Admissions

Our Vernon Square and Somerset House buildings will be closing in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak – find out more here.

The Book Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art is a specialist library within the University of London, serving the Institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate students and academic staff.

We welcome visiting scholars and researchers, both from within and outside the University, who cannot obtain the material they require elsewhere. Please contact us before visiting.

Reference only access

Permitted for the following categories:

  • academic staff
  • research postgraduates (PhD, MPhil)
  • Courtauld alumni
  • public Museums and galleries staff
  • corporate & associate friends of the Institute

Last resort access

Permitted for all other users on a one-day card on a last resort basis. This implies that specific items are being sought, and that other libraries have been tried without success.

Undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, researching for a dissertation in an appropriate subject may have their card extended, for the period of their research, on production of a tutor’s letter.

SCONUL Access Band A Borrowing Scheme

Holders of a valid SCONUL Access Band A card may register to borrow at the Courtauld Institute Book Library. Please bring your SCONUL Access Band A card and your library/ID card (from your home institution) along with you.

Click here for further details of the scheme.

Please note that the Library does not participate in the SCONUL vacation scheme.

All external readers are asked to complete a reader registration card on their first visit. The maximum expiry date is until the end of the academic year. Tickets may be extended but previous issue of a reader’s ticket does not guarantee automatic renewal. Please note that we can only register visitors between 9.30am and 5.30pm. 

Please note the following:

  • Library staff may need to advise some external readers that their needs can be better met in another or different kind of library, or through the inter-library loan service of their “home” library.
  • Librarians are pleased to help with short inquiries by email, but please note extensive or complex searches must be undertaken by the individual researcher.
  • Seating is limited: please phone or write before coming to the library in person.
  • At busy periods, access to non-Institute members may have to be restricted.


Book Library
Tel +44 (0)20 3947 7630

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