Covid-19 and Visiting the Institute


Like all educational and cultural institutions we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation carefully and taking advice from the University of London and the British Government.

Here is the current situation on 17 June 2021:


Visiting the Institute and using the Library and Collections

The Warburg Institute building opening hours are:

Monday to Thursday: 9am to 7pm   Friday: 9am to 6pm  Closed weekends and Bank Holidays

Please do not visit the Institute without a prior appointment. 

Library and Photographic Collection opening hours are:

Tuesday  to Friday, 11.00am – 3.30pm.  Closed Monday, weekends and Bank Holidays

To use the Library and Photographic Collection, please book your desk in advance and read our FAQs on COVID-19 and visiting the Library

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


CHANGE of building and library opening hours:

From 28 June the Library and Photographic Collection will be open: 

Monday to Friday, 10.00am - 6.00pm. Closed weekends and Bank Holidays

From 1 July to 26 September the building will, like the Collections, be open Monday to Friday, 10.00am - 6.00pm


What resources are accessible from home?

Check our list of databases and e-resources: JSTOR, Patrologia Latina and Acta Sanctorum are accessible to all readers with a valid Warburg Library card; remote access to other e-resources is limited to Warburg staff/students due to licence restrictions. 

To access JSTOR, Patrologia Latina and Acta Sanctorum with your valid Warburg library card, click on the relevant link from our list of databases and e-resources. When prompted enter your name (Firstname Surname) and the barcode number on the back of your library card. 

If your library card has recently expired or is due to run out, we are happy to renew it temporarily in order to ensure remote access to these resources. Please email us at including in your message your full name and barcode number. 

The Warburg Digital Library (open access) 

Warburg Commons (open access) 

The Warburg Library catalogue includes links from individual records to electronic versions (some links may not be accessible remotely or may only be accessible to Warburg staff/students due to licence restrictions) 

The Warburg Iconographic database (open access) 

The Warburg Archive CALM database (open access)


Update on teaching and learning at the Warburg Institute in the 2021/22 Academic Year

14 Jun 2021

Current Government plans state that before the start of our next Academic Year on 27 September 2021 social distancing measures should have come to an end, thanks to a largely vaccinated UK adult population. To support this, the Warburg is encouraging all our students – current and incoming – to take up their full course of vaccinations when it is offered to them.

Provided that social distancing restrictions have been lifted, the Warburg is planning that:

  • Lectures, seminars and supervision will be delivered in-person in the 2021/22 Academic Year.
  • Welcome Week, the Work-in-Progress Seminar and Tea Time Talks will be run in person.
  •  Libraries, study and social spaces will be open for student use.
  • Some events will take place in person, others will be offered online where this is appropriate.

However, much can change in the next six months. Student support for self-isolation and testing will be important in order to avoid outbreaks, and even small changes in government guidance could have an impact on use of space, and could mean that aspects of this plan have to change.

Should social distancing be retained or reintroduced, the Warburg could move to deliver some or all lectures, seminars and supervision online rather than in person; restrictions may also be introduced to library study and social spaces; and events and support services will be moved online.

In the worst-case scenario of another lockdown, all teaching would be moved online and access to the Warburg Institute and to the Library would further restricted. However, even under these extremely difficult circumstances, the Warburg has shown it can still deliver outstanding teaching and learning.

New situations that might fall between these examples could require a different response. But changes will be communicated as early as possible.


Teaching and learning

Will I be able to access seminars online?

Seminars are not planned to be online under current government plans.

Do I have to live in London?

As long as we are offering face-to-face teaching and student facilities, yes, you will need to live in London (or within a commutable distance).

Can I choose to attend seminars remotely?

There will be no remote teaching from the Warburg unless government advice changes.

What about the National Gallery modules’ seminars?

As long as there are no restrictions on social distancing or group size, teaching at the National Gallery will take place in person, in the Gallery.

How would social distancing affect how the Warburg delivers teaching and learning?

This depends on the size of the student intake and the modules. We may be able to continue with in-person teaching, with students assigned to smaller groups. Alternatively, we may have to move to delivering seminars and supervisions online rather than in person; restrictions may also be introduced to library study and social spaces. Depending on the exact nature of the restrictions and guidelines, further changes may also be required.

How would a further lockdown affect the Warburg’s teaching and learning?

In the worst-case scenario of another lockdown, all teaching and learning would be moved online and access to the Warburg Institute and the libraries restricted in line with Government guidance. We know from the past year that even under these extremely difficult circumstances, we can still deliver outstanding teaching and learning.

If you moved to online lectures, how much notice would I get?

We would endeavour to give you as much notice as possible, but experience has shown that sometimes these decisions need to be made very swiftly, to help keep our staff and students safe.

Will there be study space available?

We have offered study space either at Senate House or in the Warburg Institute for most of the pandemic period, to support students who could not work at home. We will continue to ensure student study space is available, unless we are instructed specifically that it must be closed.

What about events?

Although some events will still be held online – especially when they are accessible to more people through online delivery – as long as all restrictions are lifted, we expect Welcome Week, the Work-in-Progress Seminar and Tea Time Talks to be in-person events.

Covid-prevention measures

How will the Warburg help keep me safe?

We are committed to following the latest government guidelines and regulations and will ensure they are implemented in the Institute, particularly in regard to ventilation, cleaning, hand hygiene, contact tracing, testing and isolation.

How can I help keep everyone safe?

Guidance will be regularly issued to students. Even if all restrictions are lifted, please do not come to the Institute if you feel unwell or have been in contact with anyone with Covid-19. We expect testing to still be in place, and would ask students to be part of this programme. Most importantly, we encourage all of our students to take up their full course of Covid-19 vaccination when it is offered to them.

 Will I have to wear a face covering?

This will depend on the latest government regulations and guidance, which we will expect all staff and students to follow. If face coverings are optional, we would also support any student or staff member who wished to wear them.

Will I have to be vaccinated against Covid-19?

We strongly encourage all students to take up the full course of Covid-19 vaccinations when they are offered to you, in order to keep everyone safe.

Extenuating circumstances and support

What will happen if international students need to go home, or can’t get here for the start of term?

If some students are unable to participate due to specific Covid-19 related circumstances, we will look to include them where possible via online routes. Our Library also has a huge range of online materials. However, we would strongly encourage you to plan to be here for the start of term.

What about students who need to self-isolate?

The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If you need to self-isolate, please contact so that we can ensure that you receive teaching and support where possible.

What about staff who self-isolate?

If staff need to self-isolate, but are well, we will look at rescheduling teaching or delivering this online. If staff are unwell, teaching will either be rescheduled or delivered by someone else.

What if I’m unwell and miss teaching?

We will provide you with every opportunity to catch up – information from each class or lecture will be posted on the VLE.

What if I have a disability – can I get extra support?

We are fully committed to supporting students with disabilities. Please contact to make an appointment to discuss how we can best support you.



The Warburg Institute events programme will continue entirely online, 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 in order to receive joining instructions. Our weekly Work in Progress series, presenting current research questions in depth, opens fully to the public on Wednesday afternoons. Highlights of the Autumn Term include two new lecture series, Raphael 500 and Times of Festival, along with new dates in our long-running Curatorial Conversations and Director's Seminar Series, and new short courses in Latin, Ancient Greek and Italian. For the latest information and booking please see:


Warburg Room Hire (External Bookings)

At present we are unable to offer room hire for any of our spaces due to the current pandemic. However, if you are interested in provisionally booking space for late 2021, please contact the Building and Facilities Manager, Susanne Page at All our rooms can be viewed at


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


Visiting our building - NHS Test and Trace  

The University is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its staff, visitors and the wider public health of the community.

As the University opens the library building to members, we will be collecting visitor information for the NHS Test and Trace scheme.

Your name, contact number, date/time of arrival and departure will be recorded and kept for 21 days. If, during that time, the University is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, we will provide that data securely to the NHS. If not, the University will delete that data after 21 days.

The scheme is voluntary, but we hope you will help us to support the NHS scheme and assist our staff through this unprecedented period and thank you for your assistance.

The UK Government’s Privacy Notice for Test and Trace.

Test and Trace and data protection

As set out in the government guidance, the legal basis for the University processing the data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 is where it is necessary for the legitimate interest of the University

to participate in the scheme to support the NHS in fighting the pandemic

to protect the health and safety of its staff and visitors

The impact on the rights and freedoms of individuals are balanced by the scheme’s voluntary nature and the limited scope of the data, purposes and duration of processing.

The Test and Trace scheme is separate to the way the Institute manages your student record or library membership.

Find out more information on data protection at the University.


University of London FAQs

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