Using the Image Libraries - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Using the Image Libraries

Search for:

Courtauld Image Libraries

Using the Image Libraries

Using the Image Libraries

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

To ensure the safety of all, we have had to change the library service we offer.  We now require all researchers to book in advance and receive confirmation of their visit from Library staff in advance of travelling to Somerset House.  

To reduce the spread of corona virus we have to limit access to our shelves and you will be unable to browse the shelves.  As part of the booking process, we will request details of the material you wish to consult.  We will fetch the items for you ahead of your appointment.  We are unable to retrieve additional material during your visit as we have limited space to quarantine used materials.  We therefore ask that you make another booking to consult other material.

Location 

The Image Libraries are at our Somerset House campus. We are located in the North Block of Somerset House. On entering from the Strand, go through the main archways then just before you enter the courtyard, turn left. Our entrance is on the left 

Opening times 

Monday – Friday 1330 – 1730 by appointment 

Visitor access 

Visitors who have booked in advance can purchase a reader’s card on arrival: 

Duration 
Visitors 
Courtauld alumni/
The Courtauld Friends 
One day  £2.00  £2.00 
One month  £3.00  £3.00 
Six months  £5.00  £3.50 

Please pay in cash, providing the correct change where possible. 

Members of the Samuel Courtauld Society have complimentary access using your membership cards. 

You can find more information about using the Image Libraries in the FAQs below. If you need assistance, contact us. 

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

The Wit Library, Conway Library and Photographic Survey are open to all who book in advance. Visitors, including Courtauld alumni and The Courtauld Friends, will need to purchase a reader’s card on arrival.

Can I use the Image Libraries during the current coronavirus outbreak?

You can book an appointment to use the Wit Library, Conway Library or Photographic Survey here. Please share as much as you can about the images you wish to see. Library staff will confirm that the images you wish to see are available before you travel to Somerset House. We will fetch the material for you ahead of your visit while we have to limit access to the shelves to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

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

Please book an appointment as there is limited seating in the Somerset House Library to maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe. Making an appointment allows Library staff to check that we can make the images you wish to see available. 

How far in advance can I book an appointment?

You can book an appointment up to 30 days 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 Image Libraries?

Library staff need three working days’ notice to check that we can make the images you wish to see available for your visit. The booking system shows the next available appointment. 

I have not had confirmation that the images I wish to see are available – should I travel to Somerset House?

Please contact us before travelling so Library staff can check that we can make the images you wish to see available.

Can I arrive early or late for my appointment?

To keep everyone safe, you will only be able to enter the Somerset House Library from the start of your booking. You can arrive any time during your appointment, but Library staff will ask you to leave at the end of your booking so we can clean the spaces.

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

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

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

Please wear a face covering at all times while you are at Somerset House Library unless you are medically exempt. Before travelling to Somerset House, please check The Courtauld’s COVID-19 Visitor Guidance web page for the latest information on what you need to do when you arrive.

Do I need to wear gloves when handling the images?

Please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot soapy water when you arrive at the Somerset House Library and after handling the images. Library staff will ask you not to wear gloves as this can lead to damage to the images.

Can I browse the Image Libraries?

Library staff will fetch the images you wish to see while we have to limit access to the shelves in Witt Library and Conway Library to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

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

Library staff will advise whether the Witt Library includes images of works by the artist you are interested in.
For specific items you will need to look through the artist boxes supplied to you once at your Somerset House appointment.
Only material requested at the time of booking will be available.

Can you tell me whether a particular work 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.
For specific items you will need to look through the artist boxes supplied to you once at your Somerset House appointment.
Only material requested at the time of booking will be available.

How do I access the Book Library?

Courtauld students and members of staff should visit the Book Library’s Our services web page for more information. Other visitors should contact us.

What if I need help using the Image 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.

Share This

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Close
×