Collection policies


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Collection policy

We aim to support the learning and teaching objectives of The Barber Institute of Fine Art, as well as serving the University of Birmingham's Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies. Our collections also serve as an international resource for UK and international art history scholars. Please see our statement on diversifying the collection.

Types of materials

We aim to collect the following types of resources:

  • Printed books and pamphlets
  • Exhibition catalogues and catalogues of permanent collections
  • Sales (Auction) catalogues
  • Catalogues raisonnées
  • Periodicals
  • Electronic publications, databases, and other resources
  • Microforms to support staff and student research

Subjects covered

The remit for our collections is art history curating and visual studies, with a predominant focus on Western arts of painting, sculpture, drawing and engraving. This means we have a special responsibility for collecting the following material:

  • General and specialist research-level texts particularly relating to the artists whose work is represented in The Barber Institute collection
  • The study of art history, visual studies, and the history of collecting
  • The study of curating and the history of curating
  • The history of art related travel
  • The socio-historical background to art history, curating and visual studies
  • The history of printing and editing of illustrated books