The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

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Reference Collection

The Reference Collection is held in the Heinz Archive and Library and contains more than 80,000 portraits of important and lesser known figures in British history. The majority of these portraits are prints, but the collection also includes drawings, silhouettes, caricatures, paintings, miniatures, medallions and related items.

Introduction to the Reference Collection

An overview including the collection's history and purpose, the Print Collection, extra-illustrated volumes and portraits in other media.

Handlist of names in the Reference Collection

An alphabetically sorted handlist of Collections of portraits, grouped together by name of sitter, maker or theme.

Heinz Archive and Library

Open by appointment to visitors who are interested in any aspect of British portraiture or in the history of the Gallery.

British portraits records

Visual resources and an index of portraits.

Collected Archives

Archive material that has been acquired by the Gallery from external sources because of its relevance to the study of British portraiture.

Gallery Records

The archive of Gallery Records containing material relating to the Gallery’s activities since its foundation in 1856.