Exhibition catalogues

The Barber Fine Art Library has a major collection of catalogues of temporary exhibitions and gallery collections with examples dating back to the 18th century. The earliest exhibition catalogues are small pamphlets without illustrations giving only the minimum of information. The most recent ones, on the other hand, are well-illustrated publications packed with up-to-date research, scholarly articles. They may even contain unique material such as interviews with artists. Although many galleries are producing online exhibition guides, the printed catalogue is still a popular format. Many older catalogues have not yet been digitised.  

Bear in mind that some catalogues, especially those printed before the 1960s, may not include much information about the artists and works on show. However, they do tend to list all the works on show, and they are physical objects that can help you to imagine what it might have been like to attend a particular exhibition.  

Many of the exhibition catalogues are housed in the Research Reserve (RRART) and can be requested from the Research Reserve via FindIt@Bham.