Enquiry Services

The Heinz Archive and Library provides a telephone and written enquiry service for those who are looking for more information about British portraits or the history of the Gallery and are not able to visit in person to pursue their research.

Brief enquiries relating to specific sitters, artists and portraits can be made by calling the Archive and Library Public Study Room between 10:00 and 17:00 Tuesdays to Fridays. All other enquiries should be submitted by post, fax or email.

Written enquiries may take up to 15 working days to answer. Please clearly explain your query and supply your full name and postal address in case we need to contact you by post. If you are trying to identify a sitter or artist associated with a portrait in your possession, please attach a good quality colour image. Please note, the Gallery may retain correspondence and images in the Archive and Library for further reference and research purposes.

The Archive and Library can only answer enquiries relating to British portraiture. It is not able to give valuations or answer competition, quiz, or crossword puzzle questions, and, unfortunately, cannot enter into ongoing correspondence with enquirers.

If you are looking for portraits of particular individuals staff can check Archive and Library records for up to 5 names. If you are researching more than 5 names you are advised to make an appointment to visit the Archive and Library or arrange for a freelance researcher to do this on your behalf.

One of the Curatorial Department is available to provide research support into British portraits on Wednesday afternoons 14:00–16:00, except during the month of August and between Christmas and the New Year. Visitors seeking opinions should report to the Reception Desk in the Gallery Offices at 39-40 Orange Street. No appointment is necessary. The National Portrait Gallery cannot accept liability for opinions they may express on objects submitted for identification or for information; neither can they give valuations.

The Gallery is not able to recommend or supply a list of freelance researchers.

Heinz Archive and Library opening hours
Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-17:00
by appointment only:
020 7321 6617 (Type Talk: 18001)
fax: 020 7306 0056

Head of Archive and Library
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place
London WC2H 0HE

Cecil Day-Lewis, by Frank Ernest Halliday, 1936 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Cecil Day-Lewis
by Frank Ernest Halliday
NPG 6588