Courtauld Image Libraries - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Courtauld Image Libraries

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Courtauld Image Libraries

From September 2020, admittance to the Witt and Conway Libraries is strictly by appointment only. 

To keep everybody safe, we must limit the number of people in the Library at any one time.  Please do not travel to the  libraries without a confirmed booking. Bookings can be made via our booking page.  Please see our using the image libraries webpage.

The Courtauld’s photographic libraries are an internationally significant resource of over three million images covering Western painting, drawing and printmaking, world architecture, architectural drawings, sculpture, decorative arts and manuscripts.

The two main collections, known as the Witt and Conway libraries, are named after their founders, Sir Robert Witt and Martin Conway, 1st Baron Conway of Allington 

Used as a reference and research resource for scholars and the commercial world for decades, our world-famous libraries have facilitated research into provenance and attribution as well as wider applications to art history and conservation – playing a significant role in the development of the history of art and architecture in the UK and beyond

The Witt Library - by appointment only

The Witt is the largest of the two main collections, and consists of photographs, reproductions and cuttings of paintings, drawings and engravings of western art from 1200 to the present day, organised into national “schools”. Comprising around 2,152,000 images in over 19,000 boxes, and occupying 1.3km of shelving, it is believed to be the largest of its type in the UK and the third largest in the world.  

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The Conway Library - by appointment only

The Conway contains over one million images: photographs and cuttings of world architecture, architectural drawings and publications, sculpture (approximately 10,000 sculptors are represented), ivories, seals, metalwork, manuscript illumination, stained glass, wall paintings, panel paintings and textiles. 

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The Photographic Survey - by appointment only

The Photographic Survey records the works of art in private collections in England, Wales and Ireland and to make their existence known to scholars.

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Using the Image Libraries

The Courtauld’s Image Libraries are open to visitors with a pre-booked appointment.

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Volunteer Programme

Our community of volunteers come from all walks of life and we provide an open-minded, positive and safe space where everyone is treated with respect, acceptance and gratitude.

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Art & Architecture

The Courtauld's collections of paintings and drawings are available as more than 41,000 digital images on Art & Architecture, a Lottery-funded website.

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