The Library of the National Gallery Prague is a specialised library focusing on the fine arts—painting, sculpture, architecture, and art history. It offers library and information services to NGP workers for their professional and scientific work, and to the public by making its funds accessible for in-house use. Furthermore, it provides research services and interlibrary loans from Czech and foreign book funds.
The Library’s collection consists of specialist publications on the fine arts, and exhibition catalogues of Czech and foreign artists and collections; exhibition and collection catalogues of the National Gallery Prague from 1821 to this day also form an important part of the fund. Auction catalogues are a specific segment of the collection, as well as the large professional periodicals collection focusing on Oriental art. Currently, the Library’s fund comprises over 120,000 library items. The professional periodicals fund is also sizeable, with its 974 titles covering Czech and foreign periodicals since 1839. The book collection also comprises reference libraries of individual collections and professional departments of the NGP, both managed by the Library.
Address: Šternberský palác, Hradčanské náměstí 15, Praha 1
Tel: 233 090 533
Tuesday 9.30 AM –5 PM
Wednesday 9.30 AM –5 PM
Thursday 9.30 AM –5 PM
Friday 9.30 AM– 4 PM
Click here to search via the NGP Library catalogue.
- The NGP Library lends books and other documents from its funds for in-house use. Only NGP staff may arrange off-site loans.
- Auction catalogues (AA call number) from the NGP Library fund must be ordered a day in advance at email@example.com.
- The library rules of the NGP Library are available here.
- Artlib.eu is a web portal of art and architecture libraries, allowing the readers to search for information pertaining to the fine arts in the catalogues of art history libraries.
The NGP Library was preceded by the reference library of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts in Bohemia, founded in 1796. Its current fund was based on several sources: the library fund of the Picture Gallery, systematically built since 1880; a part of the so-called graphic library fund different to the collection of book prints and illustrations; and the library fund of the Modern Gallery (1902–1942).
After the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts ceased to operate in 1950, its reference library book fund was incorporated into the fund of today’s Library. The oldest inventory in the Society’s reference library fund is from 1839, containing 462 books sorted by field. The inventory merely lists each document’s number of volumes; inventories from 1855–1880 also reveal the procurement and price of publications. A bound catalogue of the Picture Gallery Library from 1893–1920 has survived to this day. It was created by Viktor Barvitius, painter and then-inspector of the Picture Gallery, and an erudite man. The catalogue contains 505 book volumes and exhibition, collection, and auction catalogues. The first extant accession list kept in accordance with library rules is the up-to-date Library List of the Picture Gallery from 1880–1940.
Operating individually until 1948, libraries gradually expanded via various sources: member contributions of the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts; individual donations; state subsidies after the establishment of the independent state. The Picture Gallery Library was supported by MUDr. Josef Hoser, and Knight Vojtěch Lanna, who donated many valuable publications to the library fund. Collector, patron, bibliophile, and Bohnice mental institution doctor MUDr. František Macháček (1882–1945) was also an important benefactor to the library of the Czechoslovak State Picture Gallery, donating a great number of prints and drawings to the graphic library fund. His legacy provided a substantial number of expensive, high-quality drawing facsimiles from foreign graphic collections.