NPG - Annual Reports and Associated Material

Scope and Content

Each Annual Report includes the following details: a list of Trustees; a list of donations and portraits acquired; and details of visitor attendance. Between c1880 and c1930 the reports also include: lists of pictures cleaned; framed or repaired; lists of students copying the pictures by floor, register number and how many times the work was copied; lists of pictures photographed; loans to and from other collections; lists of portraits on display in the Gallery, by room and medium. After 1963 the reports also include: lists of staff and exhibitions held at the Gallery. The first illustrations appear in 1962/63. The first coloured report appears in 1986/87. Since 1998/1999 the annual reports have been titled Annual Review.

The record series also includes the following associated material: drafts (ie. preparatory material compiled by the Director and sent to H.M. proof form); covering letters (sent by the Director to the Secretary of H.M. Treasury); and lists of report recipients & acknowledgments of receipt.

Administrative / Biographical History

The National Portrait Gallery is a publicly funded institution and as such is required to publish an annual report produced by the Trustees for HM Treasury. The Gallery has published reports since 1858, with only one significant break. Between 1939 and 1955 - partly because of the Second World War and the post-war situation - reports were produced, but not published. Until 1976 reports were published by H.M. Stationery Office. After this date they were published by the Gallery's own publications department.

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.


Two copies of the Annual Report are transferred to the Archive each year, shortly after publication. From 2000-2001, annual reports have been uploaded to the Gallery's website, accessible here .