Sketches, Letters etc

Extract from unidentified boxing magazine with photograph of Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, Francis Bacon 1909–1992, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2016 & © reserved
Extract from unidentified boxing magazine with photograph of Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, Francis Bacon 1909–1992 © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. DACS 2016 & © reserved

Containing more than one million items, Tate Archive is the largest archive of British art in the world. Within it, you can search catalogued items and digitised resources on artists, art world figures and art organisations that document the history of fine art practice in the UK.

This includes over 900 individual archives containing fascinating letters, moving diaries and writings, stock books and exhibition histories from artist-run spaces and commercial galleries.

Tate Archive also holds material related to all aspects of British and international art, such as: documentary photographs of artists and their studios; installation shots of exhibitions; interviews, talks and lectures by artists; audio-visual items; photographs; printed ephemera; press cuttings; and objects ranging from Naum Gabo’s maquettes to a toasted sandwich sent through the post!

More than 60,000 images from our catalogued collections can now be viewed online, including material by artists such as Francis Bacon, Felicia Browne, Paul Nash and Donald Rodney.

You can collate items from archives published online into a digital Album, which can be shared with friends and published on Tate’s website. To find out more about the stories behind Tate’s archives, explore the Animating the Archives film series.

The Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms are located on the lower ground floor of Tate Britain (just behind the cloakroom) staffed by an enthusiastic and dedicated team.

Explore the Archive Collections

What does the word archive mean to you? Watch this short film to hear from artists, gallery volunteers, and history experts about the sorts of things you can find in archives.

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Discover Archive Material


Letters and writings by artists. Includes correspondence between Paul Nash and his wife, Margaret, written during the First World War ...


Preparatory work by artists including a set of forty sketchbooks by Graham Sutherland which illustrate his development over his career


Photographs from the archive collection include Nigel Henderson's series of images which capture life in the East End of ...

Notebooks and Diaries

Thought and comments by artists including a selection of diaries written by Keith Vaughan about his personal thoughts on his ...

Explore the Archive

Ben Nicholson Papers

Ben Nicholson papers, 1903–82

Graham Sutherland

Collection of forty sketchbooks and fragments of sketchbooks

Barbara Hepworth

Sculpture records comprising photographs and notes compiled under the sculptor’s supervision 1925–75

Paul Nash

Letters and papers of Paul Nash [c.1894]–5 November 1951

About the Archive

Tate Archive collections

Find out more about Tate's archive collections, browse the complete catalogue, and plan your visit

Archive collections online

Find out which Tate archive collections are currently available to browse online

Archives & Access Project

Read about the project to make our archive of British art accessible to national and international audiences
Archives & Access Toolkit

Archives & Access Toolkit

A toolkit resource for those interested in providing digital access to archives

Archive & Access blog

A series detailing the development of the Archives & Access project, written by the project team