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The Warburg Institute is indebted to the enormous goodwill of its supporters at home and abroad
Aby Warburg (far right with outstreched hands) asks his four brothers to support the Institute that bears their name. Hamburg, 21 August 1929.

For more than a century, the Warburg Institute has transformed the study of art and history.

The Warburg was established in Hamburg as the privately funded library of Aby Warburg (1866 - 1929), the schorlarly scion of one of Central Europe's great banking families. The Institute's modes of classification and connection anticipated digital thinking, and it's methods of gathering and tracing cultural memory were 'interdisciplinary' before the word was invented.

It's survival is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks to the support of the Warburg family, Samuel Courtauld and others, the Institute was rescued from Nazi Germany in 1933 and became a permanent part of the University of London in 1944.

Now entering the next chapter of its existence, the support of our friends, patrons and alumni is more important than ever. There are a number of exciting projects we are seeking to support that will shape the Warburg Institute in the coming years.

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Supporting the Warburg Institute

Today, we are applying the Institute’s founding mission, academic strength and revolutionary approach to inform contemporary cultural, political and intellectual work. We have an opportunity to advance the architectural and intellectual transformation of the Institute, creating more opportunities for students and scholars, bolstering our libraries and collections and shaping the future of cultural memory.

The Warburg Renaissance Project

The Warburg Renaissance project will provide the foundations for the Institute’s continued success, influence and cultural reach for many years to come. A complete renovation of the Institute’s iconic building in the heart of Bloomsbury will fulfil the vision of Aby Warburg and finish architect Charles Holden’s never completed courtyard to create perhaps the greatest concentration of colleges, libraries and museums in the world.

An architectural cross-section of the possible design


Student bursaries and scholarships

We attract some of the brightest postgraduate students and we aim to offer new bursaries and scholarships for both MA and PhD students to support the next generation of scholars. We strive to be a haven for people and collections who are displaced, offering a refuge as well as a cultural memory bank in line with the original mission of the Institute.

Investment in the collections

As ever, expanding our collections (LibraryArchive and Photographic Collection), developing our library and improving our academic resources remains a priority. The Institute already houses an open-stack library of more than 360,000 rare and modern volumes, organised using Aby Warburg’s original scheme, and one of the most complete institutional archives of any research centre. However, we continue to seek more materials and collections to strengthen our reputation as an international beacon for the interaction of images, ideas and society.

Ways to give

There are a number of ways in which you can donate to the Institute

How support is helping the Warburg Institute