Archival Records :

Barber Fine Art Library: University of Birmingham


Barber Fine Art Library: University of Birmingham

The Fine Art Library has a large collection of exhibition catalogues. All catalogues pre-1992 are shelved in the locked stacks and must be requested from library staff. Most post-1992 exhibition catalogues are shelved in the Main Reading Room. Exhibition catalogues can be difficult to find and it is suggested that you ask a member of staff to show you how to locate them. The library has an extensive collection of sales catalogues dating from 1690 to the present day. It incorporates material from the private library of Professor Sir Ellis Waterhouse, who was director of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts from 1952 to 1970. Major auction houses represented include Sotheby's, Christie's, Phillips, Foster's and Bonham's. The value of many of the earlier catalogues is enhanced by manuscript annotations, such as details of the prices actually fetched at auction. Holdings up to 1925 are recorded in Frits Lugt's Répertoire des catalogues ventes publiques (4 vol., La Haye: M. Nijhoff, 1938-87).

The Fine Art Library maintains a card index of vendors, useful for tracing the provenance of works of art and for researching the history of collecting.

Contact Information
Barber Fine Art Library
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (0) 121 414 7334
Fax: +44 (0) 121 414 5853
Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday 09.00-19.00
Friday 09.00-17.00
Saturday 09.00-13.00
Closed Sunday

Barber Fine Art Library, University of Birmingham
<>, accessed 10 December 2003.
Updated with information received from the Library 21 October 2020