The Warburg Institute Archive is open to all researchers with a demonstrable interest in the collection. Visits are by appointment only and arranged on a first-come-first-served basis.

We can only accommodate a limited number of readers at any one time and recommend to book at least two weeks in advance. Visitors from outside London should make a booking before fixing any travel arrangements. 

On your first visit, you must register for a Warburg Library card at the ground floor Reading Room enquiries desk.

The Archive is usually open Monday - Friday 10.00am - 5.00pm. The Archive is currently closed until 1 October 2024 while it is moved back into the Institute after the completion of the Warburg Renaissance building project.

Contact us at to arrange an appointment. 

It is also possible to arrange group visits to the Archive. Find out more about group visits to Warburg collections

Working in the Archive

If you are using the collections for more than half a day, you will first need to obtain a Library reader's card. Please ask for this at Reception. Upon arrival in the Archive, you can consult the paper-based catalogues of the various sections of our holdings to order items for study.

No food or drink may be brought into the Archive and you may only use a pencil and/or your laptop to take notes. For our rules concerning photography, please see below.

Making the most of the Archive

Copy book copy of a handwritten letter by Aby Warburg

The material held in the Archive varies greatly in nature. Large parts of Aby Warburg's working papers and of the Institute's correspondence pre-1933 are in German, some handwritten, partly in German Current script.

To make good use of your time in the Archive, it is essential to have a good knowledge of the published works by the authors you are interested in and of the existing literature about the material you want to consult.

How to quote archival material

The Archive is currently organised into four main sections.

I. Material relating to the library in Hamburg and in London
II. Photographs
III.-IV. Aby Warburg’s Papers

Quotations should be as follows:


WIA [for Warburg Institute Archive], complete catalogue number, title.

e.g. WIA, III.53.2. ‘Bildniskunst und florentinisches Bürgertum’, Leipzig 1902, Presentation Copy, inscribed to F. Saxl, 12 March 1914, p.7.


WIA, GC [General Correspondence], F. Saxl to A. Warburg, 12 April 1929.

WIA, FC [Family Correspondence], A. Warburg to Max M. Warburg, 5 April 1908.

Conditions of use

Material, whether text or images, is available on the following conditions:

1. That due acknowledgement is made in any resulting publication, whether as book, thesis, article, other photographic or audiovisual medium, of the Institute’s ownership and, where relevant, copyright.

2. That two copies of offprints or one copy of books are supplied free of charge, addressed to either the Director or the Archivist; the author of an unpublished M.A. or Ph.D. dissertation which draws substantially on material in the Archive is requested to submit one copy.

3. That any material prepared for publication on the basis of papers in the possession of the Institute which makes reference to persons now living will be shown to the Institute in typescript before it is sent to a publisher, and that the Institute retains the right to delete or amend reference to living persons in it.

4. That the Institute is indemnified by the person to whom material as specified in 3. is made available against any action brought as a result of publication.

5. That correct archival references are provided for any material that is published.


Copyright in unpublished notes and letters belongs to their respective authors or his/her heirs or assigns, irrespective of present ownership.

Permission to publish copyright material must be sought in writing.

Ordering reproductions of Archive material

Manuscript page in Otto Kurz's hand

We do not accept orders for reproductions of documents held in the Warburg Institute Archive, but we do accept orders for reproductions of photographs. The usual restrictions apply to photographs representing unpublished works in copyright (e.g. Aby Warburg’s ‘Bilderreihen’ or Mnemosyne Atlas plates).

Reproduction of archival documents is restricted to Archive users only. Users can request a limited number of reproductions of documents for study purposes while on site, not exceeding a maximum of 10% of every catalogue number or 50 copies per week. Reproduction of letters in the Correspondence Archive is at the discretion of the Archivist. Reproduction of fragile or unsorted material is not permitted.

Please consult with Archive staff before ordering.

Online payment

We request pre-payment by credit card through the University of London Online Store for reproductions (see links below). Payment will generate an automated receipt. BACs payment for orders under £250.00 is subject to an administrative fee of £75.00.

For high-resolution digital reproductions of material from the Warburg Institute Archive: 

Archive Digital Photographs £20.00

Publication permission:

-books with print run 1000+: Publication Permission £60.00

-waived for books with print run under 1000, scholarly articles if copy of publication presented to our Library.

Other fees, including use on TV, prices on application.

Reg. no. GB 222 797 103

If you wish to place a photo-order, please email with the requested information. Advance payment is required via this link