Using the Image Libraries - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Using the Image Libraries

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Using the Image Libraries

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Courtauld Image Libraries

Using the Image Libraries

Using the Image Libraries

At this time, access to the Witt Library, Conway Library and Photographic Survey is limited to Courtauld students and staff and strictly by appointment only.

 


To keep everyone safe, Courtauld students and staff must book in advance through our Visit and view service.  There is no access for external visitors. Courtauld students and staff should only travel to Somerset House once Library staff have confirmed your appointment.  You will be unable to browse the shelves during your visit and will need to detail the material you wish to consult when you book.  We can retrieve a maximum of 10 boxes for each booking as there is limited space to quarantine material after use.  We cannot accommodate additional requests before or during your visit as we need to fetch material from around the building and to maintain social distancing from others working in the spaces.  You should make further bookings if you need to consult more images.

You can find more information about using the Image Libraries in the FAQs below.  We appreciate these measures will impact your use of the Image Libraries but keeping everyone safe is our priority.  If you need assistance, please contact us.

Location 

The Image Libraries are at our Somerset House campus. We are located in the North Block of Somerset House. You will need to show your Courtauld ID card at the Strand entrance. On entering from the Strand, through the main archways, just before you enter the courtyard, turn left. Our entrance is on the left.

Opening times 

Monday – Friday 1330 – 1730 by appointment 

Courtauld student and staff access

Courtauld students and staff must book in advance.

Visitor access

We regret we are unable to accommodate external visitors at this time. We are currently reviewing our opening arrangements for visitors in the light of the UK Government’s revised guidance. We will update theses web pages as soon as possible but The Courtauld’s image libraries may not reopen until early 2021

 

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

No.  We regret we are unable to accommodate external visitors at this time.

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

Yes. Courtauld students and staff must book an appointment selecting the Visit and view option as there is limited seating in the Somerset House Library to maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe.  You need to detail the material you wish to consult when you book so we can prepare the material for you as you will not be able to browse the shelves.

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 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.  You can see the next available appointment by selecting the Visit and view option in the booking system. 

Can I request material by more than one artist?

Yes, You can request boxes relating to up to five artists in one booking. We can retrieve a maximum of 10 boxes for each booking as there is limited space to quarantine material after use.  If your request covers more than 10 boxes, we will fetch the first 10.  You should make further bookings if you need to consult more images.

What if my request covers more than 10 boxes?

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 more images.

Can I explore a theme in the Image Libraries?

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, we have to limit access to the shelves to Library staff. As you will be unable to browse the collections, we regret that we cannot accommodate your visit at this time.

I have not had confirmation that the images I wish to see are available – should I travel to 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 need to fetch material from around the building and to maintain social distancing from others working in the spaces. You should make further bookings if you need to consult more images.

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 and 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 Somerset House Library unless you are medically exempt.

Do I need to wear gloves when handling the images?

No. 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?

No. Library staff will fetch the images you wish to see as we have to limit access to the shelves in the Witt Library and the Conway Library to Library staff to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

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 retireve 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 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 retireve 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.

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.

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.

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