The Art and Architecture Website includes a selection from its Conway library collection - one of the two large photographic collections held by The Courtauld Institute of Art. These two libraries, the Witt Library, which documents paintings and drawings, and The Conway, which documents mainly three-dimensional works, are major resources for the study of western art and architecture.
The Conway, which includes primarily architecture and sculpture, has also always been a thriving centre for medieval studies and extends its holdings for this period to include a wide coverage of illuminated manuscripts and applied arts, such as ivory carving, metalwork and stained glass. Another large section of the library is devoted to architectural drawings from the renaissance to the modern period. In all, the Conway Library contains over one million images, either original photographs or cuttings from journals and catalogues. The art on record ranges from Classical Antiquity to the most contemporary manifestations, now including a section on photographic and video arts and installations.
Most of the images are taken from negatives stored at The Courtauld, which are the work either of The Courtauld’s own photographers, or were taken by students and scholars in the field, who have generously donated their film. The richness and variety of the contents of the website have been considerably enhanced by the generosity of two photographers, Tim Benton and James Austin, whose pictures figure largely in the collection, but who have retained their negatives. Both have permitted free use of their images on the web site. We are also the proud owners of much historic material, nineteenth century and later photographs, long out of copyright, and therefore available for inclusion. Some areas of the collection, such as manuscripts and architectural drawings, have been entirely omitted. Indeed, the images on the Art and Architecture web site are the tip of an iceberg, and constitute only a small proportion of the library as a whole.
We welcome users who wish to find out more about the extent of the Conway library’s holdings to visit the library in person.
The library is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 11am and 4pm, except when The Courtauld Institute of Art is closed at Christmas and Easter and during the Book Library closure period each August.
Christmas/New Year closure:
Friday, 24 December 2009 until Friday, 1 January 2010 (inclusive)
+44 (0)20 7848 2743
Rights and Reproductions Enquiries
+44 (0)20 7848 2879