National Gallery Wartime Photograph Album

Scope and Content

This series contains photographs of Gallery activities and events during the Second World War. The photographs concern principally: wartime storage of pictures at Manod Quarry; wartime exhibitions (including picture of the month); bomb damage photographs and portraits of National Gallery staff during the period.

The series contains black and white prints mounted on board in cloth bound albums.

Administrative / Biographical History

At the outbreak of World War II, the National Gallery was forced temporarily to close its doors to the public to evacuate the bulk of its collection to secret locations in Wales for safe-keeping. By May 1940, the collection had been transferred to Manod Quarry, a slate mine in the Welsh mountains. The Gallery, meanwhile, remained �open for business� ��despite being bombed several times during the Blitz, holding concerts and exhibition thoughout the war. These photographs were probably taken by staff of the Publications Department which then included photographic staff to offer a visual history of the Gallery during the war years.


The photographs are in their original albums, with one volume of general photographs from war years and two volumes of portraits of staff.

Access Information


The papers are available to researchers by appointment with the Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

The most recent and complete list is held on CALM ALM. A paper list is also available at the National Gallery Archive.

Alternative Form Available

Facsimile is available and should be consulted in the first instance to aid preservation of the originals [this is stored with original albums]

Archivist's Note

Catalogue revised by C Brough February 2016

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the reader to determine the exact copyright status of the material.

Custodial History

The volumes were transferred to the Archive at an unknown date.


It is not expected that there will be any accruals to this series.

Related Material

NG30: National Gallery photographs

NG16: Files re wartime evacuation

NGA35: Martin Davies wartime papers

Location of Originals

Original negatives for prints held in Photographic Department Archive.