Access, Hours and Services
The Library and Archives are open to the public Tuesday to Friday from 10 am – 5 pm. Access to the Archives is by appointment only.
Exceptions - Closed:
December 25 - January 1st
January 8-12 (Annual Maintenance)
The Library is open to the public free of charge.
Upon arrival at the Library, researchers must register by completing the Application for Use of Research Collections and Services. A piece of identification with a photo, such as a driver’s licence or student card, is required.
For visitors wishing to expand their research to include works on paper from the Gallery's collection, please visit the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study Room webpage.
For reference questions regarding biographical information on a particular artist, an object in the National Gallery of Canada collection, or something else contact:
Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
Interlibrary Loan Service
Although the Library collection is non-circulating, books are available through interlibrary loan.
Restrictions: Reference works, periodicals, auction catalogues, catalogues raisonnés, audiovisual materials, archives, documentation files, study photographs, fragile and oversize materials, and rare and special collections.
Length of loans: Four weeks, renewable once.
Conditions: The Library lends to other libraries exclusively. Request by email [email protected] only, please. Return borrowed materials in same packaging, by same method (registered mail, courier, etc.). All items FOR USE IN BORROWING LIBRARY ONLY.
Canadian libraries: no charge
International libraries*: $35
*except with mutual reciprocal agreement
Document Delivery Policy:
Photocopy and scanning services:
Canadian libraries: no charge
International libraries: $15
Photographic services: Please inquire for policy, procedures and costs.
Loans requested for exhibition purposes are considered separately. Please inquire for policy, procedures and costs.
The Library’s collections and programs support the requirements of the National Gallery’s library, curatorial, education, conservation and research staff, as well as the work of the scholars of the National Gallery’s Research Fellowships Program.
The Library’s mandate also extends to the national and international scholarly communities, and to a varied clientele of museum professionals, students, artists, journalists, collectors, dealers and the general public.
Although the collections emphasize advanced research, user needs may be supported at the general inquiry level.
Please ensure that the following regulations are followed during your time at the Library.
- Coats, briefcases, attaché cases, backpacks and bags larger than 30 × 40 cm (12 × 16 inches) must be checked at the National Gallery cloakroom before access to the Library and Archives is permitted.
- Personal research documents and laptop computers may be brought to the Library and Archives if they are transported by hand.
- The Library and Archives reserves the right to examine the content of any bags and belongings upon the researcher’s departure from the reading rooms.
- Researchers must display their user cards at all times.
- Researchers should not leave valuables, such as purses and wallets, unattended in the reading rooms. The National Gallery assumes no liability for articles that may be lost.
- All collections are for on-site consultation only, with the exception of slides, which may be borrowed for a one-week period.
- The Library and Archives reserves the right to impose limits on the amount of material that can be requested by a researcher at any one time.
- Researchers are responsible for the care and preservation of all materials in their use. Marking or defacing items is prohibited. The use of self-adhesive notes on Library material is forbidden.
- Photocopying and digital photography of material is permitted provided that the Library and Archives preservation policies and relevant copyright legislation and conventions are honoured.
- Library and Archives handling instructions for photocopying and for the consultation of rare and fragile materials must be observed. Only pencil may be used for note-taking when working with rare and archival materials. Cotton gloves may be required for the handling of some items.
- Internet access is provided solely for art-related inquiry and research. Use is restricted to 20 minutes per client per day. Emailing or downloading files is not permitted.
- Use of cellphones and portable music players is forbidden in the reading rooms. Please ensure that your cellphone is turned off.
- Only water bottles are permitted and must be kept on the floor. Food and all other beverages (including coffee) are not permitted in the reading rooms.
- Researchers must conduct themselves with appropriate decorum and with consideration for others. Loud or abusive language or conduct will not be tolerated.