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Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours

Search the library and archive

You can search the holdings of the Art Gallery of NSW research library and archive using the online library catalogue.

Cultural sensitivity warning

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that there are publications and records in the library and archive containing the names and images of deceased people, as well images and descriptions of objects, performance, designs and sites that are culturally sensitive. Please be aware that in some of the records and published works you may encounter words, terms or descriptions that reflect the social attitude of the period in which they were written.


What is included

  • Australian and international books, journals, rare and folio publications, exhibition catalogues and audiovisual material (eg DVDs)
  • Artists books (under 'special editions’)
  • Artists’ personal libraries (under 'bequests’)
  • Ephemera files for Australian artists (surnames from A to J, as at September 2015)
  • Artists archives now held in our archive
  • Other galleries and art societies archives now held in our archive

What is NOT included

Auction index

The library has extensive holdings of art auction catalogues, from 1886 to current date, which are searchable via this index. We hold over 7700 catalogues of major and some minor auction houses in Australia and overseas. Our current focus is on Australian auction publications.

You can search online for auction catalogues by title, date and/or auction house.

To search for artworks sold at auction, please visit or contact the library. We subscribe to several Australian and international art auction price databases, which can only be used in the library at the Gallery. For more information, see Research tools.

Exhibition index

This index lists the exhibitions the Gallery has organised or hosted from 1872 to 2011. Some collection displays may not be included.

These exhibition records include exhibition titles, dates, curator(s), all exhibiting artists (under 'contents’) and exhibiting venues. If there is an exhibition publication, a link is provided to its record.

For information on more recent exhibitions, see the What’s on section of the Gallery website.

Temporary closure

Our research library and archive is relocating to a new purpose-built, expanded facility within the building, which means that the collections will be inaccessible for several months.

We apologise for this disruption to our service but look forward to assisting you in person and remotely in our new premises.

No reference enquiries by phone or online
From 7 November 2020 to 31 August 2021

No access to the library and archive
From 12 December 2020 to August 2021

In the meantime, see our research tools