History of Art

The Nativity - Jan de Beer

The University provides the largest range of specialist and general texts, journals, rare books and early printed books, manuscripts and electronic resources for the study of History of art in the West Midlands including an internationally important collection of exhibition and sales catalogues.

Our libraries

The Barber Fine Art Library

The Barber Fine Art Library contains general and specialist research level texts reflecting the collection profile of the Barber Institute art collection which covers most of the European schools of painting from the early Renaissance to twenty-first century, the history of collection, and some Byzantine art.

A substantial proportion of items are in the original language of publication, mainly in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

The collection includes:

  • Monographs, catalogues raisonnées, and pamphlets
  • Exhibition catalogues and catalogues of permanent collections and guide books from galleries around the world including some eighteenth and nineteenth century material; 
  • An internationally important collection of sales catalogues from major auction houses dating back to the late seventeenth century;
  • Over 150 periodicals

Please note: Not all material in the Barber Fine Art is on open access, some items should be requested in advance. Visitors coming some distance are advised to contact the Barber Fine Art Libary to check availability of material and arrangements to consult it.

Main Library

Our main library hosts a general collection of books and journals located mostly in Zone 4B including African, Byzantine and Ancient Art and the urban environment.

Orchard Learning Resources Centre

The Orchard Learning Resources Centre houses a general collection of books particularly strong in decorative arts, gardening and architecture.

Subject advisor

For further information on collection holdings or for advice on how to access our History of Art libraries, please contact: