Library and archives

The library of the Department of Prints and Drawings contains some 50,000 books and periodicals dealing with Western prints and drawings. Most are reference works from the nineteenth century and later, but there are many earlier books, especially illustrated works that form part of the main collection. They are available in the study room, although because of lack of space a number of less frequently consulted books are stored at Blythe House, where they can be read.

The particular strengths of the library lie in oeuvre catalogues of printmakers' work. There are extensive runs of most major art periodicals and an important collection of British and foreign art auction catalogues, ranging in date from the early 1700s to the present day. Among the illustrated books, there are important groups of German books of the Renaissance and British books of the 1860s, given by Robin de Beaumont.

For further information: 

  • A. Griffiths and R. Williams, The Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: User's Guide (1987)
  • D. Paisey, A Catalogue of German Books before 1800 in the Department of Prints and Drawings (2002)