The National Art Library (NAL) provides access to electronic resources (index, abstract, bibliographic and full text databases, electronic journals and e-books) to support your research.
The e-Resources described on this page are only available to walk-in users at Museum computers, or using your own devices via the ‘NAL’ wi-fi network (you must be in the V&A study rooms. This is due to the licensing restrictions of this paid-by-subscription content. Visit the NAL, Study Rooms and Archives pages for details about visiting our study rooms.
An alphabetical list of e-Resources available in the NAL is listed below, or you can view resources by subject/format.
Also included in these pages are links to some freely available web resources selected by Library staff.
Looking for electronic journals?
The Library subscribes to a growing number of full-text electronic journals. You can search for electronic journals (and newspapers) in the NAL Catalogue, either by title, where known, or by choosing the Genre or Publication Format Keywords search option from the drop-down menu and searching for 'electronic journals'.
Alternatively e-journal collections and databases allow you to browse titles or cross search titles for articles.
Looking for e-books?
The Library subscribes to a growing collection of e-books. You can search for e-books in the NAL Catalogue, either by author or title, where known, or by choosing the Genre or Publication Format Keywords search option from the drop-down menu and searching for 'e-books'.
Alternatively e-book collections allow you to browse titles or cross search titles on your subject of interest.
A-Z listing of electronic resources
|Online dictionary of full-text biographical profiles of artists from all over the world from antiquity to the present. Based on articles from the major printed biographical works by Thieme and Becker, Vollmer and the printed edition of the Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon|
|ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) (1973- )||Full abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogues, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art. Some entries date back as far as the late 1960s|
|Artist Biographies: British and Irish Artists of the 20th Century||Online biographical dictionary of British and Irish artists, sculptors, printmakers and designers, with particular emphasis on the 20th century. Includes entries for societies, movements, schools, organisations and galleries. Ask at Enquiry Desk for login details.|
|Art Sales Catalogues Online (1600-1900)||Online version of vols. 1-3 of Fritz Lugt's Répertoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques, which lists more than 100,000 European and American art auctions from 1600 to 1900. Includes full digital facsimiles of nearly 24,000 catalogues from 1600 to1900. Lists auction sales catalogues holdings for the Victoria and Albert Museum Library (VAL) and other institutions|
|Art Sales Index||Index of fine art auction sales records from over 350 auction houses in North America, Europe, India and China; continually updated with current and retrospective additions dating back to 1922|
|Arts: Search||The host platform for 4 related databases on art and design history: Arts + Architecture ProFILES, Design Abstracts Retrospective, ReVIEW and Research Sources: Posters.|
|Art & Architecture Source||This database provides access to full text articles from 640 journals and 225 books plus abstracts and indexes of many more titles in fine and decorative art and architecture back to 1929 (in English, French, Italian, German and Dutch). Includes content held on both Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective|
|Artprice||Index of auction sales records and images from 1700 to the present, with extensive coverage from around 1990. Offers full-text searching of more than 290,000 scanned auction catalogues. Covers fine arts including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, posters, sculpture, installations, miniatures, tapestries, ceramics and books|
|Arts + Architecture ProFILES (AAP)||Online dictionary of twentieth century design and designers. It includes profiles of every designer, architect, craftsperson, studio, workshop, etc. whose work is discussed or illustrated in the journals and yearbooks covered by its sister publication Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR)|
|Artstor||The Artstor Digital Library provides over 1.8 million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with tools for teaching and research. Its collections comprise images from museums, artists, artists’ estates, photographers, scholars, libraries and photo archives worldwide.|
|Benezit Dictionary of Artists||Nearly 170,000 entries on artists from the first English printed edition (2006), the largest edition to date, plus revisions and new biographies exclusively available online.|
|Berg Fashion Library||Online portal offering cross-searchable access to an expanding range of text, image and journal content on world dress and fashion throughout history. Includes the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion online, e-books, reference works and images (many from the V&A collections), with contributions from internationally-renowned scholars|
|Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) (1973-2007)||Indexes and abstracts art-related journals, books, conference proceedings and dissertations, exhibition and dealers catalogues. Includes and extends the coverage of its two predecessor art indexes: Répertoire d'Art et d'Archéologie (RAA) from 1973 to 1989 and International Repertory of the Literature of Art (RILA) from 1975 to 1989 along with the BHA (covering 1990-2007). For material published after 2007, see the International Bibliography of Art (IBA)|
|CAMIO (OCLC's Catalog of Art Museum Images Online)||Image database of works of art from around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times, in all media, held in the collections of prominent museums. Includes a selection of images from the V&A collections|
|Dawson eBooks||A growing collection of e-books provided by Dawson. E-books can be read online or downloaded and read offline at a Library PC. Downloaded e-books are ‘loaned’ for a specified period of days. After this period has expired you will no longer be able to read the book until you download it again.|
For further information visit the Dawsonera help pages
|Drama Online||Theatre studies resource including over 1,000 play texts, 100 scholarly works and 500 images from the Victoria and Albert Museum's archive of production photos.|
|Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR)||Abstracts and indexes many of the most important design and applied arts journals and annuals published since 1900 to ca. 1988, with a particular emphasis on European journals. For later period, see Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI)|
|Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI)||Abstracts and indexes a wide range of design and craft journals, exhibition reviews and news items from 1973 onwards, and includes data on over 50,000 designers, craftspeople, studios, workshops, firms etc.|
|Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)||See Oxford Dictionary of National Biography|
|Early English Books Online (EEBO)||A continually growing selection of digital facsimiles of works printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700|
|EBSCO eBook Collection|
A growing collection of e-books provided by EBSCO. E-books can be read online by clicking the e-book full text link.
For further information visit the EBSCO eBooks Support Center
|Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)||Fully searchable digital collection of eighteenth century books containing every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom between 1701 and 1800 (over 180,000 printed works comprising more than 33 million scanned facsimile pages)|
|Eighteenth Century Drama||A unique archive of almost every play submitted for licence between 1737 and 1824, and hundreds of documents that provide social context for the plays.|
|Empire Online||Contains over 70,000 digital facsimiles of original manuscripts and printed material relating to the history of the British Empire. Published in five sections: Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969; Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire; The Visible Empire; Religion and Empire; and Race, Class and Colonialism, c1783-1969. Includes select material from the National Art Library collections|
|Gordon's Photography Prices (1970- )||Database of prices for photography and books and periodicals with original photographs sold at auction around the world since 1970|
|Gordon's Print Prices (1985- )||Database of prices for prints, posters, illustrated books and Picasso ceramics sold at auction around the world since 1985|
|Grove Art Online||See Oxford Art Online||An international abstracting and indexing tool for research in the humanities, BHI indexes over 400 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK, from 1962 to date|
|Index of Christian Art||Iconographic index of early Christian and Medieval works of art from early apostolic times up to A.D. 1550 (extended in the case of the Morgan and Princeton Library projects to include manuscript holdings up to the end of the sixteenth century). Seventeen different media are represented including manuscripts, metalwork, sculpture, painting, and glass|
|International Bibliography of Art (IBA) (2008- )||An important resource for scholarly literature on Western art and successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), IBA indexes at least 500 core journals, with an emphasis on specialist and rare titles that are not covered by other indexes, plus detailed coverage of monographs, essay collections, conference proceedings and exhibition catalogues in 29 languages from more than 60 countries|
|Invaluable.com||The world's largest and most comprehensive auction database service covering decorative as well as fine arts. Includes unabridged forthcoming and past auction sales catalogues for more than 2,000 prestigious international art, antiques, and collectable auction houses of all sizes|
|JSTOR||Full text archive of leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs, 19th century pamphlets and other materials. Currently provides access to over 120 Art & Art History journals|
|Lugt's Repértoire Online||See Art Sales Catalogues Online (1600-1900)|
|Oxford Art Online||Full-text version of the Grove Dictionary of Art, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Includes image search options|
|Oxford Dictionary of National Biography||Online dictionary containing biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the 21st century|
|Oxford English Dictionary||The complete text of the Oxford English Dictionary's twenty-volume Second Edition, the three-volume Additions Series, and with updates at regular intervals|
|Oxford Reference||Online collection of subject, language and quotations dictionaries, encyclopedias and reference works across a wide range of disciplines from Oxford University Press. A fully integrated and cross-searchable database, Oxford Reference also includes maps, illustrations and timelines|
|Research Silver||Research area of The Silver Society's website containing: Parker & Wakelin – Database of 'Gentlemen's Ledgers' 1767-1770 containing information compiled from the Garrard Ledgers, held by the Victoria and Albert Museum, by Helen Clifford for Silver in London, the Parker and Wakelin Partnership 1760-1776. Yale University Press, 2004. NAL pressmark 603.AE.1692 (open access to all) and Grimwade - Database of silversmiths and goldsmiths containing information compiled by members of the Society from Arthur Grimwade's London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 : their marks and lives, 3rd ed. Faber, 1990. NAL pressmark REF 739.227421 GRI (access by subscription; ask staff at enquiry desk for login details)|
|Research Sources: Posters||Contains extensive information on poster design and an ongoing digitisation programme of books, exhibition catalogues and journals about posters from the 1890s to the 1920s.|
|ReVIEW||Full-text archive of many of the most important decorative and fine arts journals published in Europe and the USA from the nineteenth century into the early years of the twentieth century|
|Times Digital Archive (1785-1985)||Digital edition of The Times (London) from 1785-1985, comprising 8 million articles spanning 200 years. Uses keyword searching and hit-word highlighting to retrieve facsimile images of complete pages, or specific articles, advertisements, illustrations and photographs|
|Vogue Archive||A complete searchable archive of American Vogue, from the first issue in 1892 to the current issue, including every article, cover, photo shoot, illustration and advertisement, fully indexed|
|World’s Fairs||A collection of documents relating to more than 200 global expositions, from 1851 to 1915. Sourced from archives around the world, it comprises digitised versions of printed documents (full text searchable), maps, plans, photographs, posters, sheet music and other ephemera. Selected books from the NAL’s Great Exhibition collection are included here|
Electronic resources by subject/format
The following are subject groupings of NAL electronic resources. The links below will take you to the relevant resource information in the A-Z listing.
Art, design and architecture index resources
- ARTBibliographies Modern
- Art & Architecture Source
- Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) (1973-2007)
- Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR)
- Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI)
- Humanities Index (BHI) (1962- )
- Index of Christian Art
- International Bibliography of Art (IBA) (2008- )
- Art Price
- Art Sales Catalogues Online (1600-1900)
- Art Sales Index
- Gordon's Photography Prices (1970- )
- Gordon's Print Prices (1985- )
Dictionaries, encyclopedias and reference resources
- Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon Online (Artists of the World Online)
- Artist Biographies: British and Irish Artists of the 20th Century
- Arts + Architecture ProFILES (AAP)
- Benezit Dictionary of Artists
- Berg Fashion Library
- Drama Online
- Eighteenth Century Drama
- Empire Online
- Oxford Art Online
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Oxford English Dictionary
- Research Silver
- Dawson eBooks
- Early English Books Online (EEBO)
- Eighteenth Century Collections line (ECCO)
- Eighteenth Century Drama
- EBSCO eBook Collection
- Berg Fashion Library
- World’s Fairs