Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum--July 15, 2010

The National Art Library is located at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

It is a closed stack reference library that is open to the public as well as museum staff. Approximately 100 users a day visit the two reading rooms. Books must be requested from a staff member and are retrieved once an hour. The library hopes to move towards an automated ordering system in the future.

Originally founded in 1837, the Art Library predates the V&A museum. It is now a department within the museum and collects items about subjects within the scope of the museum's collection (art and design). In addition to a reference collection, the library also has a special collection of rare items and a collection of Artists' Books.

Interestingly, the library does not classify its books. They are arranged by size on the shelves and are located by press mark and shelf location.

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