Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Archive and Special Books Collection
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Archive
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Archive contains ninety-two holdings of material relating to twentieth-century and contemporary artists and art organisations, including the Gallery’s own papers. These comprise files of papers, drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, textiles, diaries, newscuttings and other printed ephemera.
The archive holds a world-class resource of material relating to Dada and Surrealism, the largest part being the archive and book collections of Roland Penrose and Mrs Gabrielle Keiller. The Archive is also particularly rich in papers relating to art and artists in Scotland. The Gabrielle Keiller Library in Modern Two is devoted to the display of archival material.
The Archive welcomes gifts, bequests and long-term loans from art institutions, artists and their families.
Material from the Archive and Special Books Collection can be viewed in the Modern Two Reading Room, which is open by appointment only, Monday to Friday from 10am-1pm and 2-4.30pm. Appointments must be made at least one week in advance (two weeks for group visits). Contact us to make an appointment.
Researchers must complete the Visitor Application Form and read the Archive and Library Rules and Regulations in PDF format before they visit.
Special Books Collection
From the beginning of the twentieth century, artists have been producing books that are intended as a works of art in themselves. Some have also created livres d'artiste, deluxe books in which an artist was commissioned to work with an author and publisher to produce finely printed and beautifully bound volumes in very limited editions.
The Special Books Collection at Modern Two consists of over 2,500 artist books and limited-edition livres d’artiste covering the period from 1897 to the present day. The main focus is on Dada and Surrealism, but the collection also contains many of the most significant books by artists of the twentieth century. These range from Oskar Kokoschka’s Die träumenden Knaben (1908) and Henri Matisse’s Jazz (1947) to specially inscribed books by Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, to Ed Ruscha’s Then & Now: Hollywood Boulevard 1973 – 2004 (2005). New works are added each year.
The Gabrielle Keiller Library was specially designed to make these collections available to a wider public through a changing series of displays. In addition, material from the Special Books Collection is lent to exhibitions elsewhere, subject to the Gallery’s Loan Conditions.