Paul Nash
Postcard from Paul Nash to Eileen Agar ([5 January 1940])
Tate Archive

Tate Archive collects and makes accessible a wealth of material primarily relating to the history of British art from 1900 to the present.

Located at Tate Britain, the collections comprise materials such as letters, diaries and financial records, sketches, photographs, exhibition histories, audio visual material (including conference recordings, oral histories, and Audio Arts issues) and increasingly, born-digital material – all of which relate to artists, art practice, and art world figures and organisations.

To consult the collections, you will just need to book an appointment to visit the Reading Rooms at Tate Britain (find out more about how to plan your visit).

Before you visit, you can search for materials of interest from the catalogued holdings by using the online catalogue, and you can browse a range of digitally available items on our website.

Tate Archive is free to use and open to everyone aged 18 or over. To make access arrangements for those aged under 18, or for general enquiries about accessing the catalogued collections, please contact or call +44 0)20 7887 8838.

Visit, Search, Browse

Tate Archive also runs a varied series of talks and events, and programmes displays of material in the Archive Gallery at Tate Britain, at at other Tate sites.

Additionally, we offer hosted visits for schools and groups, regularly contribute to academic and sector practice-sharing activities, and loan out material for national and international exhibitions and publications.

Enquiries about any of our activities can be sent to

In our collections

Founded in 1970, Tate Archive holds the world’s largest collection of archives relating to British Art.

‘British art’ is defined as art made in Britain, and not limited to artists born in the UK. For instance, Tate Archive is rich in holdings from European, American, and Commonwealth artists – as well as émigré artists - who were based in the UK for significant periods, and whose work is part of the history of British Art.

With over 900 individual archive collections, there’s a wealth of research material comprising personal written materials as well as institutional records.

In addition, Tate Archive houses materials that are international in scope. These include collections of more than 100,000 documentary photographs of artists, their studios and installation shots, 3,500 audio-visual accessions (including interviews with artists and copies of the British Library’s Artists’ Lives recordings and transcripts), 2,500 artist-designed posters, and 1500 single items - from a letter written by J. M. W. Turner to Christmas gifts by contemporary artists.

Do note that we continually acquire archives, so not all of our collections will have been catalogued. If you have an enquiry about an uncatalogued collection, please email

Collection highlights

A view of the interior of the Clore gallery.  The image has a shadowed edge that frames the architecture of the stairs that lead into the vanishing point and the geometric shapes of the other features of the gallery.and the

View of Clore Gallery foyer and stairs from interior balcony © Richard Bryant

Also located at Tate Britain, is our collection of  Public Records. These records document the full range of Tate’s activities throughout its history, starting with the arrangements for the establishment of the gallery recorded in the handwritten Board of Trustees’ minutes dating from the 1890s.

  • Exhibition records date from the earliest in 1911 including a very small catalogue up to the 1980s together with original exhibition posters from 1937.
  • Records of the acquisition of art works for Tate's collection, together with the development of the Tate Britain site, including the Clore Gallery extension project are also held.

View the summary list of the Public Records collection

The records also contain a wealth of information about some of the more dramatic events in our history including, pictures of the rescue of art works during the 1928 Thames flood, and details about Second World War bomb damage.

Frequently asked questions

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