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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Bryony Millan

Bryony Millan

Senior Archive & Library Manager

Job description

My role at the Gallery has overall responsibility for the Archive & Library team, its public services and collections.  The department’s collections are diverse, spanning the institutional archive of records generated by the Gallery from its foundation in 1856 to the present day, archives collected from external sources because of their relevance to the study of British portraiture, a specialist library and index of sitters in portraits,  a substantial Reference Collection of portraits, and rich sequences of visual resources organised by portrait sitter, artist and subject. Combined these collections comprise an outstanding resource for research into British portraits, the history of portraiture and the history of the Gallery itself. All of the department’s collections can be accessed by appointment via the Heinz Archive & Library.


I studied History at Edinburgh University and joined the Gallery in 2006 as part of the archive team. I subsequently attained a Post Graduate Diploma in Archives and Records Management at University College London and was appointed Archivist in 2011. In September 2016 I became Senior Archive & Library Manager.  I am also Treasurer of the Museums & Galleries History Group.

Research interests

Given the scope of the Archive & Library’s collections and the nature of my role, my research interests are diverse. Areas of particular professional interest include the early history of the Gallery, in particular the development of curatorial practice and the life and work of the Gallery’s first Director Sir George Scharf (1820-1895), the Gallery’s reaction to the threat of direct action by Suffragettes in the early twentieth century and the history of the Gallery during the Great War





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