Apologies that you haven’t heard from me for a few months. You may not necessarily consider this a negative development given that my fellow GTs have posted some fascinating blogs on their work and visits to other libraries since the New Year.
I have to tell you about one visit that I made to the National Art Library at the V&A museum, alongside the GTs and several other members of the RCN Library and Archive Service. This was my first trip to an art reference library and I must admit to my shame that I didn’t previously know that there was a library at the V&A museum. Anyone can join the National Art Library so there is no reason why I should have left it so late to explore this gem.
Our team was very lucky to have the Library staff give us a demonstration of 10 treasures in their books collection. Among others, these treasures included: a book written by an Italian monk in 1560 which listed all books published in Italy and gave its readers advice on hawking; a peep show of the Great Exhibition of 1851; a fantastic photography book which shows life on the Norfolk broads in 1887; and a book about fashion written in 1567 intended for readers who were unable to travel in the Age of Discovery.
I found Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, a late nineteenth century photography book, the most intriguing:
The National Art Library is widely recognized as one of the top four art reference libraries in the world. The Library will be closed over the Easter weekend but I would encourage you to visit once it reopens. You do not have to be an art student, historian, V&A museum staff member, researcher or to work for an auction house to request to view items held in the National Art Library. It is a closed-access library, you may have to wait up to 90 mins for an order to be processed. However, it is well worth the wait because their historical collection is magnificent and it is a great place to study.