WAR - In this section

The unique collections of the Warburg Library and Photographic Collection are open free of charge to academic researchers

Academic staff and fellows

Free membership for academic staff and fellows from any university worldwide

To join, please bring a valid university staff card

If your staff card does not include a photo, please also bring some other form of photographic ID 

Your card must indicate clearly that you are academic staff. If it doesn't, please bring a letter from your department confirming your status

PhD/MPhil students

Free membership for postgraduate students from any university worldwide

To join, please bring a valid student card

If your student card does not include a photo, please also bring some other form of photographic ID

Your card must indicate clearly that you are a research student. If it doesn't, please bring a letter from your supervisor or department confirming your status

MA/MSc students

Free membership for postgraduate students from any university worldwide

To join, please bring a valid student card and a letter of recommendation from an academic referee which should indicate your need to consult research material held in the Library

If your student card does not include a photo, please also bring some other form of photographic ID

Undergraduate students

Free membership for undergraduate students from any university worldwide

To join, please bring a valid student card and a letter or email of recommendation from an academic referee. This should indicate what material you need to consult in the Library and the length of access you require

If your student card does not include a photo, please also bring some other form of photographic ID

Professional staff of public museums, libraries and galleries

Free membership for professional staff from any public museum, library or gallery worldwide

To join, please bring a valid staff card

If your staff card does not include a photo, please also bring some other form of photographic ID 

Your card must indicate clearly that you are professional staff. If it doesn't, please bring a letter from your institution confirming your status

Independent researchers

Free membership for independent scholars undertaking academic research on subjects covered by the collections

To join, please bring valid photographic ID (e.g. passport, driving licence, national ID card) and a letter or email of recommendation from an academic referee

Please note that private scholars may be issued with temporary library cards, depending on research needs

Commercial researchers

Free membership for commercial researchers from e.g. auction houses, private galleries, publishers and TV production companies

To join, please bring a valid staff card and a letter or email from your place of work which should indicate your need to consult research material held in the Library

If your staff card does not include a photo, please also bring some other form of photographic ID

Please note that commercial researchers are usually issued with temporary library cards

Letters of acceptance

If you require a letter of acceptance from the Library in order to apply for research funding for your visit, please email us at warburg.library@sas.ac.uk. We are happy to provide an invitation to use the library in advance of your visit and another letter at the end of your stay to confirm that you made use of the library.

International PhD students registered for a PhD in their own country may alternatively join the Institute as an occasional student. Find out more about becoming an occasional student.

Access and Security

When visiting the Library for the first time, please check above to see what you need to bring with you in order to request a reader's card.

Please show your valid reader's card at the main Reception desk each time you enter the Library and Photographic Collection.

Bags are not permitted in the Library and Photographic Collection. All bags should be stored in a locker before entering the Library. Ask at the Reading Room desk if you would like to buy a clear plastic bag to hold your belongings.

Large suitcases, holdalls and rucksacks are not permitted in the Institute. Bags must be small enough to be stored in a locker (41 x 24 x 42 cm). There are left luggage facilities at Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras International rail stations where larger luggage may be stored while you visit the Library.

Although incidents are extremely rare, valuable items should not be left unattended in the Library. The Warburg Institute accepts no responsibility if such items are damaged or stolen while in the Library. 

A buzzer is sounded 20 minutes and 10 minutes before the library closesPlease make sure that you leave promptly at closing time.

You must show your bags at Reception when you leave the building. The Library is a reference-only collection and borrowing is not permitted.

Read our library regulations

Contact us

If you have any queries about joining the library, email warburg.library@sas.ac.uk

For more information on joining the Photographic Collection, email photographic.collect@sas.ac.uk