Resources in York
The city of York
Rich in internationally significant buildings, not least the Minster and many parish churches
York is well placed to allow easy access to London and other cities.
Libraries and collections in York
Who to contact
- University Library and Archives
Including the JB Morrell Library, the Raymond Burton Library for Humanities Research, the King's Manor Library, The Image Library, York Digital Library and the Borthwick Institute for Archives. Besides the usual books, journals and bibliographical resources which may be expected of a university library (including an ever-expanding art history section), the library at York offers extensive online resources. There are computerised versions of many printed indexes and abstracts, and a number of databases with no hard copy equivalent.
- Borthwick Institute for Archives
The Borthwick Institute, one of the major archive repositories in Britain, holds the records of the Archbishopric of York from the early thirteenth century onwards, and specialises in the study of ecclesiastic institutions. The Gurney Library is a reference collection with limited borrowing facilities and contains works with a particular emphasis on church history and administration; it has good runs of relevant periodicals.
- King's Manor Library
The Wormald, Newton and Newbold collections, major resources for medieval art history, are housed in the King's Manor, as is the Architectural Studies Library, an invaluable source for architectural historians.
- Minster Library and Archives
The York Minster Library has particular strengths in iconography and art history as well as in medieval history, patristic and liturgical writings and literature. It possesses a number of Anglo-Saxon and medieval manuscripts and holds the archives of the Dean and Chapter. It offers reference facilities and allows registered postgraduate students to borrow books. Including resources for architecture.
- City of York Public Library
The City of York Public Library has a valuable reference collection of local history materials, with subject index and indexed files of local newspapers since the eighteenth century. Available to individuals who live, work or studies in York. It is free to join and most things are free.
- York City Archives
The York City Archives (adjacent to the King's Manor, within the City Art Gallery building) contains not only civic records for York from the medieval period onwards, but also numerous other private and institutional deposits relating to the history of York and its people.
If you are interested in undertaking research on an aspect of British art there are collections of slides used principally (but not exclusively) for teaching in Vanbrugh College and the King's Manor. The latter also houses a large collection of York photographs taken by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England) and the late Dr Peter Newton.
The City of York Public Library has a collection of some 9000 photographs of York taken over the past hundred years.
Libraries and collections
- Boston Spa Reading Room
York is also the nearest university to the British Library document supply centre at Boston Spa, the central national repository for the UK inter-library loans service and the largest lending library in Europe. The University provides a free minibus service to the BLDSC on alternate Wednesdays and Fridays, on a pre-book basis through the library's lending services. Items for consultation at BLDSC should be booked six working days in advance of a visit.
- Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Library and Archive (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Free resource for the study of contemporary art and design which can be accessed both on-site and online.
- Durham Cathedral
Includes access to the Chapter Library which contains strong references for history, travel, music, art, and classics.
- Henry Moore Institute Library (Leeds)
Collection of research materials pertaining to modern (post-1875) and contemporary British sculpture, as well as supplemental information on modern international sculpture.
- Great North Museum Library (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Including the Library and Archives of the Natural History Society of Northumbria, the Library of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne (formerly at Black Gate), and Newcastle University’s Cowen Library.
- National Archives
The UK government's official archive, containing over 1,000 years of history. Also includes the ARCHON online directory.
Journals, publications and reviews
- British Art and Visual Culture since 1750 New Readings
This series provides a forum for the study of British art and visual culture from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Edited by David Peters Corbett, University of East Anglia.
- Visual Culture in Britain
Published by Manchester University press until 2008.
- CAA reviews
Critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies published by the College Art Association.
In addition there are excellent communications by road and rail with the rest of the country. London is only two hours away by train and most major provincial cities can be reached by mid-morning at the latest.
- RIDING PLUS
The RIDING Access Scheme (now RIDING PLUS) enables research students to use and borrow books from the libraries of the Universities of Huddersfield, Hull, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside.
- British Library London
The British Library is the world's largest library and one of the world's major research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats.