National Art Library Forster Collection
John Forster (1812–76) was a noted biographer, critic, essayist and historian who collected a vast library. He bequeathed this collection to his wife and on her death it passed to the South Kensington Museum (renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1899).
National Art Library Fischer Collection
The Fischer Collection is one of a number of 'closed' collections held by the V&A’s National Art Library. It was given to the Museum by Elfriede Fischer, the widow of Heinrich (Harry) Fischer, in 1996. The collection contains 69 books, journals and exhibition catalogues published chiefly in Germany between 1900 and 1939, plus a highly significant typescript inventory of 'Entartete Kunst' (or 'Degenerate Art') created in 1941/2.
National Art Library Great Exhibition collection
The National Art Library holds a number of collections relating to the International Exhibitions including documentation on the Great Exhibition of 1851, the Schools of Design and the papers of Sir Henry Cole, the first Director of the South Kensington Museum (renamed the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1899).
National Art Library collection of armorial bindings
Colonel Henry John Beresford Clements (1869–1940) became the acknowledged expert in the field of bindings displaying armorial and ownership devices. His collection, bequeathed to the V&A in 1940, represents the most comprehensive of its kind.
National Art Library chapbooks collection
Chapbooks are small cheap publications on popular subjects bought at booksellers or from travelling chapmen. The National Art Library chapbook collection comprises around 800 chapbooks, ranging from the late-18th-century crudely printed chapbooks of Bow Church Yard and Aldermary Church Yard, London, to the simple but rather well-printed and illustrated examples by James Kendrew of York.
National Art Library trade catalogues collection
The National Art Library holds numerous examples of trade catalogues within its collections. The earliest items in the collection date from the 1760s, when the first true modern trade catalogues were produced in England by the brassfounding and Sheffield plate manufacturers of the Midlands.
National Art Library auction house sale catalogues
The National Art Library has an extensive collection of sales catalogues from the United Kingdom, Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States. The Library also acquires catalogues from other sources that describe the contents of outstanding sales or discrete collections of interest for the history of art, craft and design or which include material of interest to Victoria and Albert Museum collections.
National Art Library
Monday: CLOSED | Tuesday: 10.00 - 17.30 | Wednesday: 10.00 - 17.30 | Thursday: 10.00 - 17.30 | Friday: 10.00 – 18.30 | Saturday: 10.00 - 17.30 | Sunday: CLOSED. The National Art Library is a major public reference library of fine and decorative arts of many countries and periods. Please visit the About the National Art Library page for planned closures.