Art library

Books in the art library. © National Gallery of Ireland.
© National Gallery of Ireland.

'An art book is a museum without walls'. André Malraux

The Gallery's art library is Ireland’s leading research centre for the study of art and art history. It holds the country’s most extensive bibliographic collections relating to the national and international development of the visual arts.

These research collections, including our extensive online resources, are available for consultation in The Reading Rooms and the Centre for Study of Irish Art by appointment. The collections are accessible to all members of the public and are available to browse online through our library catalogue and digital archive Source prior to your appointment. 

The Centre for the Study of Irish Art is located on the second floor of the Millennium Wing and The Reading Rooms are located in Rooms 35 and 36 of the Milltown Wing. We are open by appointment Monday to Friday. 

For more information you can contact the Library & Archives at: [email protected]


Centre for the Study of Irish Art. © National Gallery of Ireland

Reference collection

The library has an extensive reference collection consisting of leading international directories and dictionaries of art, as well as access to a large number of useful online resources.

Artists' monographs

The collecting of monographs on artists has been a long-standing commitment kept by the Gallery since its foundation in the 19th century. The collection holds many publications on key artists, and library staff continue to catalogue and add to the collection on a daily basis. 

Raphael of Urbino, Art library
Delicate books in the Centre for the Study of Irish Art. © National Gallery of Ireland.

Rare and antiquarian books

Many of the publications in the library's special collection, which includes rare and antiquarian books, art treatises, illustrated books, pamphlets, early exhibition and sales catalogues, are unique to this collection. 

Printed journals

The library holds over 200 journal titles including important internationally respected titles such as: The Burlington, Apollo, Art Newspaper, Art Bulletin and Art Journal, British Arts Journal, Master Drawings, Museums Journal, Oud Holland, Oxford Arts Review, Journal of the History of Collections, Paragone, Simiolus, Restaurator and many others.

Art Bulletin in the Art library

Source: Irish Art Digital Archive & Library

Explore Irish art through our new digital archive collections.

Explore Source collections

Online resources

Access to over 900 online resources, the majority related to art history, as well as access to, Art Newspaper, Benezit Dictionary of Artists, British newspaper archive, Dictionary of Irish Biography, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Studies in Conservation. Access via JSTOR provides articles from the Irish Arts Review, Dublin Historical record and many others. Readers can use two computers in the reading room.

Woman at a computer looking through digitised archives on Source
Books in the art library. © National Gallery of Ireland.

Library catalogue

The Library catalogue provides access to thousands of records as well as online resources, allowing you to search the extensive bibliographic holdings of the Art Library.

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