National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery Archive

1. What does the catalogue include?

The National Portrait Gallery Archive Catalogue is an on-line finding aid to the archive material held by the Gallery. It comprises, primarily, details about the Gallery’s Records. Specifically, those records that have been identified for permanent preservation because of their on-going historical and research value. These include:

  • Minutes of the Gallery’s various committees
  • Directors’ papers
  • administrative correspondence
  • object files for the Gallery’s Primary Collection of portraits (containing acquisition, conservation, loan and display information)
  • reports and internal memoranda
  • exhibition records
  • press cuttings
  • building records including architectural plans
  • publicity material

Cataloguing of the Gallery’s Records is on-going: approximately one third of the material has been catalogued to date. Records continue to be added on a regular basis.

The National Portrait Gallery’s Archive also includes Collected Archives – ie. material that has been acquired by the Gallery from external sources because of its relevance to the study of British portraiture. Cataloguing of this material is in the early stages: only a small amount is available on line. However, records continue to be added on a regular basis.

2. How can I find out about uncatalogued material?

If you require further information about uncatalogued material from the Gallery’s Records, please contact us.
If you require further information about the Collected Archives, a preliminary list is available on-line here Alternatively, please contact us.

3. Can I consult all records in the catalogue?

The ‘access status’ field in the catalogue indicates the type of access that will be provided. There are two options:

  • Open – the records are completely open to the public
  • Restrictions may apply. Refer to issue desk - the records are generally available for public consultation, but some information in them, such as personal data or information supplied to the Gallery in confidence, may be restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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