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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Heinz Archive and Library

The Heinz Archive & Library is currently closed as a precautionary measure to help contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We are unable to accommodate physical visits for the time being.

Through its holdings and staff expertise the National Portrait Gallery Archive and Library seeks to be the foremost centre for the study of and research into portraiture. The Archive and Library contains three collections: Archive, Library and a Reference collection of portraits. The Archive and Library is a publicly accessible centre for the study of works held by the NPG, the study of the history of portraiture and collects material which supports these areas.

The Director and staff of the National Portrait Gallery were sad to hear of the recent passing of Mrs Drue Heinz Hon DBE.

Mrs Heinz’s generosity enabled the creation of the Heinz Archive & Library’s Public Study Room facilities, which opened in 1993, supporting research activity and enabling increased access to the Gallery’s collections by scholars and members of the public. Mrs Heinz always supported the Gallery over many years and took a great interest in all our work, she will be greatly missed.

Booking and directions

We are currently closed as a precautionary measure to help contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We are unable to accommodate physical visits for the time being.

Library

Open by appointment, the Library holds published materials, including 35,000 books and unpublished image and index files.

Enquiry Services

A telephone and written service for those who are looking for more information about British portraits and are not able to visit in person.

Reference Collection

A Collection of 80,000 portraits, mainly prints, but also a body of drawings and a smaller body of paintings and sculptures.

British portraits records

Visual resources and an index of portraits.

Gallery Records

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

Collected Archives

Archives that have been acquired by the Gallery from external sources because of their relevance to the study of British portraiture.