Researching from Home
The National Gallery Research Library and Archives aims to enhance access to information by researchers, particularly to unique information, that cannot be located through the network of Australian public, state or research libraries.
We provide an online enquiry service to complement the services of public, university, national and state libraries.
The following research tools can be accessed online.
National Gallery Research Library Catalogue
The Research Library & Archives catalogue lists the resources held in our collection, including artist monographs, exhibition catalogues, art history texts as well as ephemera, audio visual and print materials.
For more information on the Research Library and the Archives collection go to our Research and Collections page and Archives & Special Collections page.
Search the Collection
This includes over 150,000 works of art. Search for a specific artist or work of art or browse the National Gallery's art collection by searching subject matter, concepts, periods, styles and the Australian Curriculum terms. For enquiries about the national collection email Australian art or International art.
Australian Art Obituaries Index
This is a database containing references to obituaries for Australian and International artists and visual art professionals who have died between 1990–2019. The index aimed for comprehensive coverage of Australian artists' obituaries, with selective coverage of international artists' obituaries. The content is based on sources and information held in the National Gallery of Australia Research Library & Archives.
Search Trove to explore collections from hundreds of Australian libraries including the national, state and public libraries, many universities, museums, galleries and archives. Search for digital copies of newspapers, Government Gazettes, maps, magazines and newsletters. Trove offers access to books, pictures, photographs, archived websites, music and interviews, and information about famous Australians, including copies of letters, diaries and personal archives.
Trove includes the Australian Web Archive which captures webpage snapshots of over twenty years of Australian cultural and social history. See link for more information on content.
The National and State Libraries of Australia
Use each library website to find information on their research and collections including library guides and archive finding aids, and information about their fee-based scanning services. The catalogues for the National and all State libraries are searchable via Trove.
National Library of Australia, Canberra
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane
State Library of Western Australia, Perth
Library & Archive, N.T., Darwin
State Library of South Australia, Adelaide
Connects you to the collections and services of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.
Have you inherited or recently purchased a painting or work of art and want to know more?
The National Gallery of Australia does not provide an art identification or valuation service. A list of Government approved valuers on Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program can be found here. This list of accredited professionals provides an indication of the specialisations and location of each expert.
If you would like to undertake some preliminary research use the resources listed on this page. Be creative and use lots of access points in keyword searches – name of artist, place (locality, region, State), first owner etc.
The National and State Libraries listed above have excellent collections, online catalogues and Library guides to help you undertake preliminary research. If you know the area in which an artist lived or created their artwork consider local studies collections in public libraries (many have online catalogues) or the local historical society.
Examples of Library Guides
As well as Trove some State libraries have produced Library Guides related to art and artists often specific to their state. While some of these resources are unique to their collections many of the resources are readily available in many libraries.
Resources on Art and Design by the State Library of Queensland.
Guide on how to research artists and artworks and recent sales by artists by the State Library of Victoria.
Australian Prints and Printmaking
A website that focuses on Australian and Oceania, South Pacific, South East Asian prints and printmaking. Based on the Australian print collection at the National Gallery there is free online access to over 22,000 images.
Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) 1990–2007 and Répertoire international de la littérature de l'art (RILA) 1975–1989
BHA and RILA cover European and American visual arts material including articles from over 1,200 journals. These citation databases, searchable together, cover material published between 1975 and 2007.
Design and Art Australia online
Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO) is a collaborative e-Research tool built upon the foundations of the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online. DAAO is an open source freely accessible scholarly e-research tool that presents biographical data about Australian artists, designers, craftspeople and curators.
Getty Publications Virtual Library
Access over 300 Getty Publication books to read and download for free
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Essays and chronologies of art as told through the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
MetPublications [Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]
MetPublications is an online portal to The Metropolitan Museum of Art's comprehensive art publishing program. It features over 1,700 titles, including books, guides, Bulletins and Journals from the last six decades.