Tag: National Art Library

Back to the blog front page

The National Art Library is closed for stocktaking

Every year the National Art Library closes its doors for ten days to carry out a stocktaking exercise. The focus of the stocktake is always on ensuring the on-going security and preservation of the collection, and making sure it is stored in the most efficient way. We also take the opportunity to carry out any repairs or […]

Keep reading

How do you make a book?

SR15-08-2016-(3)1000

The answer to that question depends on where and when you come from. As an apprentice working in the National Art Library I handle many books every day and I am always amazed at the variety of styles I come across. Every time I encounter a poor thing which is damaged I find myself suppressing my […]

Keep reading

Paper peepshows – The world’s stage in the palm of your hand.

6

Slip off the cover, draw apart the bellows and peep through the hole to discover the multi-layered, multi-coloured, miniature world of the paper peepshow. In appearance the peepshow resembles a pocket-sized theatre. Held within its expanding walls are glimpses into stunning vistas, celebrated historical events and striking engineering feats. Thanks to the Government’s Cultural Gifts […]

Keep reading

The Real Game of Thrones – Medieval Seats of Power

MSL/1902/1649 folio 78 r, Book of Hours, French, ca. 1425. © V&A Museum.

Fans of Games of Thrones know how impressive an important seat of power can be. This is also true in medieval manuscripts where images of thrones feature often when depicting earthly and heavenly rulers. You don’t, however, always need a fancy throne like the Iron Throne of Westeros to show your importance; any chair with […]

Keep reading

Colour In Our Collections

Voysey

It seems as if everyone has gone colouring book mad, so what better time to share some examples we have in the archive and offer a chance for you to have a go yourself? One of the most fascinating collections we hold at Blythe House is the Renier Collection, the largest special collection of children’s […]

Keep reading

National Art Library bank holiday weekend closure

A reminder to all our users that the National Art Library will be closed for the bank holiday weekend from 18.30 on Friday 29th April, and will re-open at 10.00 on Tuesday 3rd May. You can order your items ahead of your visit for when we re-open: advance orders received after 16:30 on the Friday will […]

Keep reading

Tradition and transformation in 19th century bookbinding

Voyages de Gulliver dans les Contrées Lointaines / Jonathan Swift. Museum no. Circ-186-1948

The 19th century was a time of great change in European bookbinding. Social and educational reform of the previous century had led to increased levels of literacy which in turn resulted in a greater demand for books from a much wider public. The book industry responded to this demand by seeking cheaper and quicker methods of […]

Keep reading

From Artifice to Artefact

collage

As assistant curator of loans in the Word and Image department it is my job to make sure that everything that goes on exhibition from our collections is properly documented and prepared for display. The Word and Image department (WID) houses the V&A’s collections of Prints, Drawings, Paintings, Photographs, The National Art Library and the […]

Keep reading

National Libraries Day: Researching the History of the National Art Library

V&A Interior - Entrance to The National Art Library; with architectural pediment above the door; 
V&A Museum; 
23rd December 2013.

Did you know that the Library is older than the V&A itself? Or that one of its early Keepers, the irascible W. H. James Weale, once chased an unwary bookseller through the reading room for trying to sell him a collection of ‘obscene prints’? Or that it counts not one but three copies of Shakespeare’s […]

Keep reading

Easier to read than ‘War and Peace’ – Tolstoy’s tales for children

L. N. Tolstoy, ‘Dlya malen'kikh’ [For Little Ones], Illustrated by A. Pakhomov. Leningrad : Detgiz, 1954. Donated by Ronald Horton. NAL: 36.AA.141 / 38041800576498

The nation is gripped by the BBC’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic novel ‘War and Peace’. For some this is their first introduction to the work of Tolstoy but for Russian children he is one of the first authors they meet, through the many stories and educational books he wrote for them.   Although born into […]

Keep reading