Scottish National Portrait Gallery Reference Section

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s Reference Section includes over twenty archival collections relating to Scottish portraiture.  The main component of the Gallery’s Reference Section is the Portrait Archive which has two sections - the Sitters’ Files and the Artists’ Files.  The former consists of 26,000 reproductions of portraits in private and public collections, representing over 11,500 Scots. The latter comprises 30,000 photographs of portraits by Scottish artists. These are part of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery Papers (PG A19) but are not catalogued as individual records. Please contact us if you wish to access this part of the Reference Section.

With its emphasis on Scottish sitters and artists, the Reference Section archival collections are a unique resource for those studying Scottish history, portraiture and iconography. As new collections are acquired the catalogue will be updated.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Archive and Special Books Collection

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Archive contains over 120 holdings relating to 20th and 21st century artists, collectors and art organisations, including the Gallery’s own papers. These comprise files of papers, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, textiles, diaries, newscuttings and other printed ephemera.

The archive holds a world-class resource of material relating to Dada and Surrealism, the largest part being the archive and book collections of Roland Penrose and Gabrielle Keiller. The Archive is also particularly rich in papers relating to art and artists in Scotland.

The Special Books Collection consists of over 2,500 artist books and limited-edition livres d’artiste covering the period from 1897 to the present day. The main focus is on Dada and Surrealism, but the collection also contains many of the most significant books by artists of the twentieth century. These range from Oskar Kokoschka’s Die Träumenden Knaben (1917) and Henri Matisse’s Jazz (1947), to a near complete collection of artist’s books by Ed Ruscha, from Various Small Fires and Milk (1964) to Then & Now: Hollywood Boulevard 1973 – 2004 (2005). New works are added each year.

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