Our Library is Ireland’s leading research centre for the study of art and art history. It holds the country’s most extensive bibliographic collections relating to the national and international development of the visual arts. Our books range from the latest publications on visual art to rare books that date back as far as the 16th century--all of which are searchable via our online catalogue. Learn more about our selection of books below.


Monographs or “a detailed written study of a single specialised subject or an aspect of it” relates to books which have been published about one artist. For example, a book which discusses the life and artworks of Vincent van Gogh is therefore known as a monograph. On many occasions, monographs contain photographic reproductions of key works held in the National Gallery of Ireland and are the first ‘port of call’ for researching the work. The collecting of monographs on artists has been a long-standing commitment kept by the gallery since its foundation in the 19th century to this day, with the library staff continuing to catalogue newly received publications of a daily basis. As such the library holds many publications on key artists.

Catalogue Raisonnés

A catalogue raisonné is a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known works of an artist. It acts as a reliable source when gathering information including title and title variations, dimensions, dates of the work, medium, current location/owner at time of publication, provenance (history of ownership), exhibition history and more. Consulting such publications can save a huge amount of time compared to piecing together the same information from various sources. We hold a large collection of catalogue raisonnés such as the works of Vermeer, Caravaggio, Guercino and Velázquez. Simply use search terms like ‘catalogue raisonné’ or ‘complete works’ and the artists name to find sources.