An architectural cross-section by Haworth Tompkins depicting the possible design of the Warburg Institute

The £14.5m Warburg Renaissance project will transform our much-loved but long-neglected building by restoring its original vision and making it ready for future generations. The project will enhance the Institute's academic resources, teaching spaces and public offerings, and create new facilities for special collections, exhibitions and events.

Building work began on 4 July 2022 and will last for 18 months. The building will be refurbished in three phases and a 2-storey new build extension will be constructed in the courtyard.

We will use this page to keep all visitors up to date with the progress of the work and how this affects the location of our collections.

Care has been taken to make sure that the majority of the collections will remain accessible throughout the works.

Browse our regular newsletter updates about the Warburg Renaissance project, which will track the key milestones of the project

What's happening this week?

This week: 3 - 9 October

The steam cleaning of the brickwork and stonework on the building façade is still taking place. Arrangements for the closing of windows will be made as the work progresses. Signs will show where windows should not be opened.

Building work continues on the 3rd and 4th floors.

Collection moves for this first phase of the Warburg Renaissance project (June-December 2022) are as follows:

  • Action books on Society and Culture (D) and History (H) are now on the First floor.
  • Orientation books on Western Religions (B), Eastern Religions (G), Philosophy (A) and Magic & Science (F) are now in the Basement.
  • The ArchivePhotographic Collection and the Library's rare books and manuscripts have been moved to Stewart House. To organise an appointment to visit the Archive, please email warburg.archive@sas.ac.uk. To consult the Library's special collections, please email warburg.library@sas.ac.uk. Walk-in visitors are welcome in the Photographic Collection and there is no need to make an appointment in advance.
  • Bound periodicals have been moved off-site and are inaccessible until the end of the project in December 2023.

Noisy works

Noisy works timetable

Noisy works during the construction period will be in accordance with the times below:

08.00 - 10.00: Unrestricted noisy works

10.00 - 12.00: Noise from construction site to be less than 45dB within all areas of the building still occupied by the Warburg (i.e., typical library noise conditions)

12.00 - 14.00: Unrestricted noisy works

14.00 - 18.00: Noise from construction site to be less than 45dB within all areas of the building still occupied by the Warburg (i.e., typical library noise conditions)

There are also a number of 'Quiet Days' agreed in advance when no noisy works will take place. These will be for events, exams etc.

Building work and collection moves schedule

Decant / April-June 2022

4 - 22 April 2022: Periodicals (P classmarks; Basement) are moved off-site and remain inaccessible for the duration of the project.

25 April - 8 May 2022: The Photographic Collection is not accessible while it is packed and moved to nearby Stewart House.

9 - 19 May 2022: Orientation (B, G, A & F classmarks; 3rd & 4th floors) is moved to the Basement and will be inaccessible while it is packed and moved within the building. From 19 May, these books will be available in the Basement mobile stacks.

16 May - 1 July 2022: The Archive is not accessible while it is packed and moved to nearby Stewart House. After 2 July, visitors will be able to consult the Archive in Stewart House by appointment.

6 June - 10 June 2022: Action (D & H classmarks; 4th floor) is moved to the 1st floor space vacated by the Photographic Collection and will be inaccessible while it is packed and moved within the building. Access will be restored on the 1st floor. 

10 - 15 June 2022: The Library's rare books and manuscripts will be unavailable while they are packed and moved to Stewart House. After 16 June, special collections will be accessible by appointment at Stewart House.

Phase 1 / July-December 2022: Floors 4 & 3 closed

Floors 4 and 3 are closed for refurbishment

Visitors can consult Archive and Photographic Collection material at the University of London's Stewart House throughout the building works

Action (D & H classmarks) is accessible on the 1st floor

Orientation (B, G, A & F classmarks) is accessible in the Basement

Word (E & N classmarks) is available for use on the 2nd floor

Image is available for use on the 1st floor (C classmarks) and Basement (K & CR classmarks)

Periodicals (P classmarks) remain in off-site storage and are not accessible

The rest of the Library collections remain in place.

Decant / Mid-December 2022-early January 2023

Action (classmarks D &H) is returned to the refurbished 4th floor and will be briefly inaccessible while it is packed and moved (dates to be confirmed)

Orientation (classmarks B, G, A & F) is returned to the refurbished 3rd floor and will be briefly inaccessible while it is packed and moved (dates tbc)

Word (E & N classmarks; 2nd floor) is moved to the Basement and will be briefly inaccessible while it is packed and moved (dates tbc)

Image (C classmarks; 1st floor) is moved to the 4th floor and Basement and will be briefly inaccessible while it is packed and moved (dates tbc). K & CR classmarks remain in place in the Basement.

Periodicals (P classmarks) remain in storage off-site and are not accessible

Phase 2 / January-June 2023: Floors 2 & 1 closed

The 3rd and 4th floors reopen after refurbishment; the 1st and 2nd floors close for building works

Visitors can consult Archive and Photographic Collection material at the University of London's Stewart House throughout the building works

Action (D & H classmarks) is available for use on the refurbished 4th floor

Orientation (B, G, A & F classmarks) is available for use on the refurbished 3rd floor

Word (E & N classmarks) is available for use in the Basement

Image (K, C & CR classmarks) is available for use in the Basement and the 4th floor

Periodicals (P classmarks) remain in storage off-site and are not accessible

Decant / mid-June - early July 2023

Word (E & N classmarks) will be briefly inaccessible while it is packed and moved back to the 2nd floor (dates to be confirmed)

Image (K, C & CR classmarks) will be briefly inaccessible while it is packed and moved back to the 1st floor (dates tbc)

Reading Room reference works (RR classmarks) are moved to off-site storage and will inaccessible until December 2023 (dates tbc)

Phase 3 / July-December 2023: Ground and Lower Ground floors closed

The 1st and 2nd floors reopen after refurbishment. The Ground floor Reading Room is closed and a temporary Reading Room is set up on the 4th floor. The Ground and Lower Ground floors close for building works.

Visitors can consult Archive and Photographic Collection material at the University of London's Stewart House throughout the building works

Action (D & H classmarks) is available for use on the refurbished 4th floor

Orientation (B, G, A & F classmarks) is available for use on the refurbished 3rd floor

Word (E & N classmarks) is available for use on the refurbished 2nd floor

Image (K, C & CR classmarks) is available for use on the refurbished 1st floor

Periodicals (P classmarks) and Reading Room reference works (RR classmarks) remain in storage off-site and are not accessible

Final decant / December 2023 - early January 2024

The project is completed

Periodicals and Special Collections (the Archive, Photographic Collection and the Library's rare books collection) are returned to the refurbished Lower Ground floor

Reading Room reference works (RR classmarks) are returned to the newly refurbished ground floor Reading Room

Special Collections

Special Collections

The Institute’s Special Collections – the Archive, Photographic Collection and the Library’s rare books and manuscripts – have been moved to the University of London’s Stewart House at 32 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DN. Stewart House is a five minute walk from the Institute.

Material from the Archive and the Library's Special Collections are available for consultation by appointment only until the end of the building project in December 2023. 

Walk-in visitors are welcome in the Photographic Collection and there is no need to make an appointment in advance.

Photographic Collection

The Photographic Collection has now moved to its temporary new home in Stewart House (32 Russell Square, WC1B 5DN), where it will remain until the end of the building works in December 2023. There is no need to make an appointment to use the collection.

Archive

The Archive has now moved to its temporary new home in Stewart House (32 Russell Square, WC1B 5DN), where it will remain until the end of the building works in December 2023. Visitors can consult Archive material in Stewart House, a five minute walk from the Warburg Institute.

Please email warburg.archive@sas.ac.uk to organise your visit.

Library rare books and manuscripts

The Library's special collections have been moved to their temporary new home in Stewart House (32 Russell Square, WC1B 5DN). 

Please ask at the Reading Room enquiries desk or email warburg.library@sas.ac.uk if you would like to consult items designated as Warburg Rare Books/Apply to staff on the library catalogue. Special collections materials is not available on Saturdays as Stewart House is closed. We may require up to 24 hours warning in order to provide access to rare books and manuscripts either in the Institute or in the Stewart House Reading Room.

Basement

Periodicals

The Library’s periodicals (P classmarks) have been moved off-site from 4 April 2022 and will be inaccessible throughout the works. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.

Check our the library catalogue and Periodicals List or to see which of our periodicals are available online either from the Warburg Institute or as open access journals.

All readers with a valid Warburg Library card can access JSTOR by logging in through our Online Resources and Databases page. Click on the JSTOR link and, when prompted, enter your name and the barcode number on the back of your Warburg Library card.

The Reading Room

Reading Room reference works

The ground floor Reading Room will be closed during Phase 3 of the building works, from July to December 2023. During this time, Reading Room reference works will inaccessible while they are temporarily stored off-site.

1st floor

Image: Art History (C)

The 1st floor will be closed during Phase 2 of the building works, from January to June 2023.

During this time, Art History books from the 1st floor will be made available in two different locations. Some will be temporarily moved to the 4th floor while others will be relocated to the Basement, alongside K (Ancient Art) and CR (Modern Art) classmarks which are currently shelved there.

When Phase 2 is completed in June 2023, all Art History books (K, C and CR classmarks) will be moved to the 1st floor.

2nd floor

Word: Language & Literature (E), Transmission of Classical Texts (N) 

The 2nd floor will be closed during Phase 2 of the building works, from January to June 2023.

During this time, E and N classmarks from the 2nd floor will be temporarily rehoused in the Basement mobile shelving and will be available for use there.

When Phase 2 is completed in June 2023, E and N classmarks will be returned to the 2nd floor.

3rd & 4th floor

Orientation: Western Religions (B), Eastern Religions (G), Philosophy (A), Magic & Science (F)

Classmarks starting with B, G, A and F are now available for use in the Basement.

The 3rd and 4th floors will be closed during Phase 1 of the building works, from July to December 2022.

When Phase 1 is completed in December 2022, B, G, A and F classmarks will be returned to the 3rd floor.

4th floor

Action: Society & Culture (D), History (H)

Classmarks starting with D and H are now available on the 1st floor in the area vacated by the Photographic Collection.

The 4th floor will be closed during Phase 1 of the building works, from July to December 2022.

When Phase 1 is completed in December 2022, H and D classmarks will return to the 4th floor.