Discover our collection of rare books! Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Frode Larsen

The book collection

The library’s book collection contains around 165,000 titles covering subject areas from ancient to modern art, crafts, design, architecture and related fields such as art theory, conservation and museology.

As a whole, the collection has an emphasis on Western art, with considerable material relating to art in Norway and the Nordic region. There is a predominance of publications in the Nordic languages and English, although the collection also contains literature in German, French and Italian. A substantial part of the collection consists of artist monographs, exhibition catalogues, and museum collection catalogues. In addition we have a large collection of reference books and a smaller collection artists’ books.

The library’s books are not for loan and can only be consulted on the premises. A large part of the collection is on open shelves. Titles held in the book stacks may be ordered, but require a certain time for retrieval.

Most of the material in the collection can be searched for in the library catalogue. Some of the exhibition catalogues and lists of works in exhibitions are, however, only recorded in card indexes. Several of the Norwegian books in the collection have been digitised by the National Library of Norway and can be accessed directly via, or through our own library catalogue.

We issue regular updates about new additions to the library.