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 Thursdays. All other enquiries should be submitted by post, fax or email.
Written enquiries may take up to 25 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 your query concerns 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 purpose.
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. For more information about the scope of our enquiry service please see Statement of the scope and purpose of our enquiry and opinion service and staff research on non NPG portraits.
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.
A member 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. Enquiries to particular period specialists, or to curators specialising in photography, need to be submitted either in writing or via email with an image to the address in the box above. 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 or evaluate works of art created by enquirers and is unable to provide a portfolio review service.
*Please note that from 1st September 2017 this service will be changing to the first Wednesday of the month only.
The Gallery is not able to recommend or supply a list of freelance researchers.
Tuesday - Thursday, 10:00 - 17:00
by appointment only:
fax: 020 7306 0056
Head of Archive and Library
St Martin's Place
London WC2H 0HE
by Frank Ernest Halliday