The National Art Library

The National Art Library section brings you news about exciting new service developments, throws a spotlight on our collections, displays and research projects and provides information about electronic resources with ‘tips and wrinkles’ for making the most of them.

The National Art Library (NAL) is a reference library, open to all visitors. The collection covers the fine and decorative arts, design and art history and contains books, periodicals, auction sale catalogues, exhibition catalogues, electronic resources and other formats of material. Amongst the treasures are artists’ books, illustrated books, fine bindings and rare and unique manuscripts.

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The enduring appeal of Marimekko’s apparel

Last year Finland celebrated 100 years of independence. Despite its youthfulness, there is a lot we could learn from this new country with many indices citing it as ‘the most stable, the safest and the best-governed country in the world’.[i] Its current standing is a marked departure to its early years, in which its citizens […]

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The Artful Book: 70 Years of The Folio Society

In celebration of beautiful books, we’re marking 70 years of The Folio Society with our latest display on the National Art Library landing. ‘The Artful Book’ was produced in association with The Folio Society, Britain’s foremost publisher of collectable illustrated books, and opened last September.  On display are illustrated books and bindings spanning the past […]

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Road Trip! Britain to Berlin and back

The exhibition Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today has seen several configurations since it debuted at the Museum Vandalorum, Sweden in 2014. As the exhibition’s curator here at the V&A Museum of Childhood, I am responsible for recasting this exhibition so that it’s relevant and exciting to our family audiences. […]

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National Art Library online catalogue, new feature: tracking your item requests

The National Art Library recently moved to a new online library catalogue, more information can be found here. This blog series will highlight some of the new features built into the platform to give users integrated keyword searching of online content and print holdings into one search box, tracking and email notifications of item requests […]

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Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today

On 30th March 2018, an exciting new exhibition exploring progressive Nordic design for children will open at the V&A Museum of Childhood. Spanning the 20th century, the exhibition Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today will feature iconic Nordic designs from BRIO to LEGO, Marimekko and the Moomins.   The exhibition’s […]

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National Art Library Christmas opening times

The National Art Library will be open until 18.30 on Friday 22nd December. After that, we close for a Christmas break until Thursday 28th December when we’re open during normal opening times, 10.00 to 17.30. Readers will NOT be able to submit online requests through the NAL catalogue between 23rd and 26th of December.  The […]

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2018 V&A Illustration Awards: entry closing soon!

V&A Illustration Award winner's trophy

With one week to go before entry to the 2018 V&A Illustration Awards closes, here is the necessary info you need to submit your work: Is your work eligible? The published categories are open to illustrators resident in the UK, or that have published within the UK book and editorial market. For 2018, this includes self-published […]

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New Library Catalogue coming soon…

The National Art Library will soon be implementing a new library management system.  This system runs our cataloguing, membership and book ordering processes.  Our current system is thirty years old, is very inflexible and has been failing quite regularly. In mid-December 2017 we will implement our new OCLC WorldShare system.  OCLC is a major, not-for-profit, […]

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Lost in the NAL: A Hunt for Early Photographic Literature – Part 1

This post is by guest blogger Alice Straker. Alice is on a student placement in the National Art Library from the Royal Holloway MA in Victorian Literature, Art and Culture. During my time volunteering at the V&A I have been investigating the extent of the NAL’s collection of early photographically illustrated books. Along the way I […]

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National Art Library closing for stocktake

A reminder to our users that the National Art Library will close for our annual stocktake at 17.30 on  Saturday 12th August and will re-open at 10.00 on Tuesday 29th August. Our online reprographics and enquiry services remain open during the stocktake so please do continue to contact us as normal.  We will update you with the outcome of […]

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