Library & Archive Reading Rooms

Access our huge collection of library and archive items in this free-to-use study space

Opening times

Monday to Friday 11.00–17.00

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

The Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms at Tate Britain © Tate Photography (Oliver Cowling)

Visit the Hyman Kreitman Reading Rooms to see items from Tate's Library, Archive or Public Records collections

All are welcome to use the Reading Rooms and admission is free. First time visitors are required to register.

Please read the admission information prior to your visit, and bring along any necessary documents on the day you come in.


Tate Library is a centre of excellence for art historical research, covering British art since 1500 and international art since 1900. As well as a wide selection of books, printed journals and electronic resources about art and artists, the library has a pre-eminent collection of exhibition catalogues dating from the late 19th century to recent contemporary shows. Tate Library also has a collection of 6500 artists’ books which date from the 1960s to the present day.

Library catalogue


    Tate Archive contains over a million items related to artists, art world figures and art organisations in Britain, primarily from 1900 to the present day. Serving as the national repository for the history of fine art practice in the UK it includes personal and institutional papers, letters, writings, sketchbooks and maquettes, audio-visual and born-digital material, photographs and press cuttings. 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, 2,500 artist-designed posters, and 1,500 single items - from a letter written by J. M. W. Turner to Christmas gifts by YBA’s. Over 52,000 digitised images from the Archive collections are now available to view online.

    Public Records

    Tate's Public Records document the full range of Tate’s activities throughout its history, including exhibitions, acquisitions, development and expansion across its current sites. Records also include Board of Trustees’ minutes, posters and photographs. They capture fascinating chapters in Tate's history, such as the 1928 flood and the gallery during wartime.

    Archive and Public Records catalogue

    More information

    Download our Library and Archive Mission Vision and Purpose [PDF, 117 KB]

    Admission information

    Planning Your Visit

    Please be aware that first-time visitors who would like to consult Archive, Library and Public Records will need to register on arrival.

    Visitors who wish to access items from the Archive, Library Special Collections and Public Records collections are asked to make an advanced appointment.

    Library, Archive and Public Records items can be requested ahead of your visit.

    Please contact us to check that the items you wish to see will be available. Please do not make special travel arrangements until your appointment has been confirmed.


    Phone: +44 (0)20 7887 8838

    For security reasons, all visitors are required to leave coats, jackets, bags (including laptop bags) and handbags in the cloakroom. Bags larger than cabin bag size (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) are not permitted into Tate Britain.

    How To Register

    You can register as a Library Reader for access to the main Library collection, or as an Archive Reader for access to all collections. Membership is for one-year and is renewable. As well as a completed registration form you will need to present identification (see the registration form for more details).

    Registration Form

    Download the registration form


    Groups of up to 12 can be accommodated with prior notice. We advise that you check in advance that the collections you wish to see are available. Please do not make special travel arrangements until your appointment has been confirmed.

    Desk Space

    Visitors who want to Reading Rooms solely as a study space do not need to register, and will instead be provided with ‘Study Reader’ card. Study Readers must still follow to the Reading Rooms rules.


    The Reading Rooms are accessible by wheelchair. If you have any specific access requirements, please contact us ahead of your visit.

    We're closed on

    Friday 2 November 2018, Friday 7 December 2018

    Opening times

    Monday to Friday 11.00–17.00

    We are closed the first Friday of each month. We are also closed on public holidays and between Christmas and New Year.


    Lower ground floor of Tate Britain, near the Manton Entrance in Atterbury Street.

    Tate Britain
    London SW1P 4RG
    Plan your visit



    Phone: +44 (0)20 7887 8838

    Related Events


    Sixty Years of Tate Members: Library and Archive Show and Tell

    3 Nov 2018

    Tate Library and Archive staff invite you to a display and talk in our Reading Rooms


    Library & Archive Show and Tell: Liver and Lights: A Chronicle of Strange Times

    7 Dec 2018

    Liver and Lights is the collective name for John Bently’s long running series of art in book form

    Free entry

    Also at Tate Britain