COVID-19 and Visiting the Institute

This is the current situation as of 23 September 2022

Visiting the Institute and using the collections

It is no longer necessary to book a desk to use the Library and Photographic Collection.

It is no longer compulsory to wear a mask in the library reading room, stacks or teaching spaces. Where possible, we encourage you to wear a mask when moving between areas indoors and in enclosed spaces which have poor ventilation. 

The Archive is open to readers by appointment only. Please email to discuss available appointments.

FAQs: COVID-19 and visiting the Library

Are you accepting new readers?

Yes, we are accepting new readers. Please check our Join the Library page to see if you are eligible to use the library.

When visiting the Institute for the first time, please make sure you bring the necessary photographic ID stated on our admissions page and, if required, a letter of recommendation. A member of staff in the Reading Room will issue you with your Warburg library card and give you a brief guide to how to use the library.

What do I need to bring with me when visiting the library?

If you are visiting the library for the first time, please bring the form of ID requested on our Join the Library page, along with a letter of recommendation if required.

Do I need to put my belongings in a locker?

Bags should be left in the lockers in the Reading Room corridor and may not be brought into the library.

Suitcases, holdalls and rucksacks may not be brought into the Institute unless they can fit into a locker (41 x 24 x 42 cm). 

Can I browse the shelves?

The stacks are fully accessible and all collections are open. Please wash or sanitise your hands before handling the books.

What COVID-19 precautions must I take in the library?

We no longer require the use of face masks in the library, but we ask all readers to continue to be considerate of others, to observe basic social distancing while in the library, and to wash hands regularly or use the hand sanitizer provided, particularly before handling books.

What precautions are you taking against COVID-19?

We are opening windows and doors to allow for extra ventilation on all floors.

We are using a carbon dioxide monitor to monitor air quality in the library.

Hand sanitiser is provided throughout the library.

The building is cleaned daily. Antibacerial wipes are provided for readers to clean PCs and other surfaces before use, if they wish to.

Is there somewhere to eat and drink in the Institute?

Unfortunately, the Common Room on the Lower Ground floor is now closed due to the Warburg Renaissance redevelopment project. 

As always, no food or drink may be consumed in the library.

Do you offer a scan and deliver service?

We are not able to offer a dedicated scanning on demand service. If you require scans, please order them through Inter Library Loan from your home library. Please note that for copyright reasons we can only supply one article or chapter, or up to 5% of a book.

Do you offer a click and collect service?

No, the Warburg Library is reference-only and external readers may not borrow books


The Warburg Institute events programme will continue mostly online for the Summer Term 2022, with a full range of lectures, seminars, short courses, reading groups, workshops and in-conversation events taking place largely via the Zoom platform. Please note, all events must be booked in advance.

Find out more about our events programme

Further questions and how to contact us

If you have a general question, please check that it has not already been answered above or on the University of London FAQs. If it has not, please email your query to

For queries about the Institute's collections, please contact us at or