National Art Library: Registering for a Reader Ticket

Reader Tickets are valid for use in the National Art Library and in the Blythe House Reading Room, near Olympia.

Anyone can apply for a Reader Ticket, free of charge. They are valid for three years.

Registering in person

When you arrive at the Library you will need to:

  • complete a PC-based application form
  • provide personal identification and proof of address
  • read and agree to abide by the Library's Conditions of Use

Registering online in advance of your visit

Registering online in advance of your visit provides you with a Temporary Reader Number and PIN, which enables you to order items in advance using the Library Catalogue.

On the V&A website you should:

  • read the Library's Conditions of Use
  • go to the NAL Catalogue, click on the 'My Account' tab, then click 'New User'
  • fill in the online registration form
  • make a note of your Temporary Reader Number and PIN
  • remember to bring personal identification and proof of address to the Library to complete your registration

Acceptable forms of identification and proof of address

To complete your registration you must provide personal identification and proof of address. If a single document provides both personal identification and proof of address then this is acceptable. Otherwise you will need to provide one form of documentation from each of the lists below.

Acceptable forms of personal identification (must include your photograph or signature):

  • Passport
  • National Identity card
  • Photo Driving Licence
  • Student identity card
  • Official identification card from recognised place of work (provided it includes a photograph or signature)
  • Bank or credit card
  • British Library ticket

Acceptable forms of proof of address (must include your name and address):

  • Recent utility bill (within last 3 months)
  • Council Tax Bill (valid for current year)
  • State Pension Book
  • Recent bank statement (within last 3 months)

Renewing your reader ticket

You can renew your Reader Ticket in two ways:

  • complete a PC-based application form in person
  • follow the instructions for Registering online in advance of your visit above

There is no need to renew old style tickets to the National Art Library or Museum Archives until these expire. They will remain valid for use in the relevant reading rooms.

Care of reader tickets and Replacing lost or stolen reader tickets

  • Please let us know if you change your address so that we can update your user record
  • If you forget your Reader Ticket we can issue you with a Temporary Ticket for the day
  • A lost, stolen or damaged Reader Ticket will be replaced free of charge; follow the instructions for Renewing your Reader Ticket above. The repeated loss of Reader Tickets may result in the right of registration being withdrawn.

Requesting material

Once you have registered, either online or in person, you can request items using the Library Catalogue. For further details, see Requesting Material

Collection items available by prior appointment

Certain categories of material can only be viewed by appointment and require a written recommendation, approved by senior staff. These include illuminated manuscripts and some artists' books. Material requiring an appointment is indicated in the Library catalogue. Applications to view this material should be made using our online enquiry form, for consideration by a senior librarian.

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