Letters to the National Gallery, 1878-1914

Scope and Content

These files relate to all aspects of the National Gallery's activities and the management of its Collection. The series includes correspondence, reports and memoranda addressed to the Director, Keeper, Trustees and other staff of the Gallery. Some of these papers were discussed at meetings of the Board of Trustees, whereas others appear to be of a more mundane or operational nature.

Administrative / Biographical History

These records were generated in the course of the National Gallery's daily activities. Correspondence, reports and memoranda relating to strategic as well as mundane issues were filed into this one large series.


The records are arranged chronologically and have been grouped together according to the envelope from which they were taken.

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

The NG7 letters have not been microfilmed.

Archivist's Note

Catalogue revised by Alan Crookham, August 2006.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is likely to have expired for part of this series of records. However, it is still the responsibility of the reader to determine the exact copyright status of a work.

Appraisal Information

Early correspondence about the Gallery is kept permanently.

Custodial History

These records were transferred to the Archive from the Library, where they had been held for many years. They were originally contained in envelopes which were inscribed with content lists and these have been retained in the series. The papers are stamped 'National Gallery Trustees Meeting' together with the date of the meeting. Some papers have not been stamped and have been added to the series over time. These were probably documents which were removed from the archive to be placed in the art historical dossiers. When they were returned to the archive, they were incorrectly added to the NG7 series. No attempt has been made to rectify this error as it is now impossible to identify the original series from which the documents were taken.


There are unlikely to be any accruals to this series. Any letters found in the dossiers which need to be returned to the archives will be placed in a series of documents which have not been stamped with 'National Gallery Trustees Meeting'.

Related Material

NG1 Minutes of the Board of Trustees

NG5 Letters to the National Gallery, 1821-1877

NG8 Treasury letters, 1878-1900

NG68 Letters to the National Gallery 1878-1914