NPG - Registered Packets

Scope and Content

The files contain, in the first instance, information about how the portraits were acquired by the Gallery. They may include, depending on the manner in which the work was acquired (Ie. by gift, purchase, commission, or bequest) any of the following standard documentation: offer from the donor; acceptance by the Gallery; good title; provenance; commissions contract; copy of will; copy or probate; copyright agreement. They may also include details of cost or funding, including invoice; receipt and details of any grant aid, private or public donations received.

They may also include information about conservation, including condition reports; scientific & technical analysis; receipts for work done. They may also include records concerning how the works were displayed; stored; loaned or exhibited. They may also include records relating to the framing of works (including, in some instances, the conservation of frames). They may further contain information relating to research, which may pre-date the time the portraits were acquired by the Gallery.

The records detailed above may include both original and published material of the following types: correspondence with internal and external colleagues; correspondence with members of the public, academics and other groups; research notes; caption text; reports; press releases and other promotional material; cuttings from articles in magazines, journals or newspapers.

The Registered Packets may also include other types of record associated with the portraits such as: x-rays; images; labels and other items removed from the back of works; diaries and notes maintained by artists & sitters; video and audio recordings etc. In particular, many files include conservation slides. A significant number have been labelled with coloured stickers. These were intended to denote different types of view (ie. bottom left), however they were used inconsistently and the system was abandoned c2000.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Gallery has maintained a series of object files - known as Registered Packets - since the early years of its history. The Registered Packets begin life as offers files, in the Collections Management department. A file is opened as soon as the Gallery receives note of a potential acquisition, and all relevant paperwork generated and received during the acquisition process is filed within it. At the point that the item is formally acquired, the offers file becomes a Registered Packet. It is then (since 1997) transferred to the Archive.

The series operates as centralised filing system for all records relating specifically to the Gallery's Primary Collection of portraits. Ie. the Gallery's main display collection of portraits (such portraits are prefixed with NPG or P within the Gallery's portrait numbering system). Following the initial acquisition process, all other records created, generated or received by the Gallery concerning the portrait/s are filed into the relevant Registered Packet. The Registered Packets therefore operate as 'object files': they document the history of the portrait within its context at the Gallery.

Access Information

Available to view by appointment in the Heinz Archive and Library Public Study Room, to make an appointment contact Archive Reception . Although records are generally available for public consultation, some information in them, such as personal data or information supplied to the Gallery in confidence, may be restricted.

Other Finding Aids

The complete catalogue for this archive can be searched via the NPG Archive Catalogue .

Conditions Governing Use

Personal photography is permitted for research purposes only. Photocopying is not permitted.