Inventory of pictures acquired by the National Gallery

Scope and Content

The inventory is a record of all the works that have entered the National Gallery collection. Each volume contains the following information about each painting which has ever formed part of the collection: inventory number; the name of the artist; the subject matter or title; the location of the painting; the method and date of acquisition; and the price of the work if purchased.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first inventory volume was initially compiled by the Chief Clerk George Ambrose in 1907 (see Board Minutes NG1/7 7 May 1907 p.309). It was added to over the years by other members of staff and a second volume was begun in 1931. This is still in current use and is updated by the Registrar's Department at regular intervals.


Each volume is arranged numerically by inventory number.

Access Information


The volumes 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. There is an artist names' index to the first volume at the back of that volume.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Alan Crookham, September 2006.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by the National Gallery.

Appraisal Information

The Gallery's inventory is kept permanently.

Custodial History

The inventory was created by the National Gallery and is now held in the Gallery's Archive.


The second volume of the inventory is periodically updated by the Registrar's Department with information about new acquisitions.