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Tel: 020 7862 8911

Hours of Opening - Aids to Consultation - Access
Copyrights and Permission to Publish - Conditions - Note Taking
Reproductions - Charges for Photographs
Quotation of Archival Material

The Archive of the Institute preserves the working materials and papers of the Institute’s founder Aby M. Warburg (1866-1929) and of other distinguished scholars closely associated with the Institute from its days in Hamburg to the present, including the former directors Fritz Saxl (1890-1948) and Gertrud Bing (1892–1964), the cultural historian Dame Frances A. Yates (1899–1981), the historian of religion Robert Eisler (1882-1949) and the art historian Otto Kurz (1908-1975). In addition it contains papers relating to the following scholars: A.A. Barb (1901-1979; Leopold D. Ettlinger (1913-1989); Henri Frankfort (1897-1954); Sir Ernst H. Gombrich (1909-2001); Evelyn Jamison (1877-1972); Karl Ernst Krafft (1900-1949); Otto (1908-1975) and Hilde Kurz (1910-1981); Charles Mitchell (1912-1995); R.A.B. Mynors (1903-1989); Siegfried Seligmann (1870-1926); Walter Solmitz (1905-1962); Daniel P. Walker (1914-1985); Roberto Weiss (1906-1969) and the academic and administrative records of the Institute.

The Warburg Institute Archive now also incorporates the working papers and private
correspondence of E. H. Gombrich, consisting of some 10,000. catalogued items. To access those items that are open to readers, permission must be obtained in advance from the Literary Estate of E. H. Gombrich, 6 Celia Road, London N19 5ET. Please allow sufficient time for a response, which may not be immediate, before making travel or other plans. On obtaining permission, please contact the Warburg¹s archivist in the usual way.


The portion of the Archive relating directly to Aby Warburg has been briefly described by E. H. Gombrich in his Aby Warburg: an Intellectual Biography, London (2nd ed.) 1986, pp. 343-47; there is a fuller but now superseded summary list in Aby M. Warburg, Ausgewählte Schriften, ed. D. Wuttke, Baden-Baden (3rd ed.) 1992, pp. 585-97, 648; cf. also Wuttke's list of over 3000 published works concerning Warburg in Aby M. Warburg-Bibliographie 1866-1995, Baden-Baden 1998. Additions as well as an update consisting of over 1300 titles are published in Björn Biester, Dieter Wuttke Aby M. Warburg-Bibliographie 1996-2005, Baden-Baden 2007.

Aby Warburg’s working papers have been inventoried and described by A.M. Meyer and J.B. Trapp; the catalogue has been revised by S. Meurer and C. Wedepohl. It is not yet in definitive form, but is available for consultation at the Institute.

The General Correspondence of Aby Warburg, and of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (K.B.W.) in Hamburg, has been catalogued by D. McEwan as well as the Family Correspondence of Aby Warburg. It is complete for the years from 1873 to 1929. A fully indexed database of all the correspondence, including a short synopsis in English of each document, may be consulted in the Archive, but scholars who wish to consult original documents must comply with the procedures described under Access below, and should make an appointment with the Institute Archivist, Dr. Claudia Wedepohl.


Access to all materials in the Archive is at the discretion of the Director; considerations of working space and staffing may make it necessary to restrict the number of persons admitted at any given time. Written applications from suitably qualified persons must reach the Director at least fourteen days in advance of the beginning of any proposed visit (applications by telephone are not acceptable), and should specify as exactly as possible the material to be consulted. They must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from an academic referee. Applicants should note that restrictions apply to materials which mention persons now living, as also materials of a clinical nature relating to the years 1918-24. Those wishing to consult archival material are advised to make preliminary contact with the Archivist (


The Archive is open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm, except during the week at Christmas and at Easter when the Institute is closed. Due to shortage of staff it may be necessary to restrict this timetable. Access is by appointment only.


Copyright in unpublished notes and letters belongs to their authors or his/her heirs or assigns, irrespective of present ownership.


Material, whether text or images, is available on the following conditions:

1. That due acknowledgement is made in any resulting publication, whether as book, thesis, article, microfilm, other photographic or audiovisual medium, of the Institute’s ownership and, where relevant, copyright.

2. That two copies of offprints or one copy of books are supplied free of charge, addressed to the Director; the author of an unpublished M.A. or Ph.D. dissertation which draws substantially on material in the Archive is requested to submit one copy.

3. That any material prepared for publication on the basis of papers in the possession of the Institute which makes reference to persons now living will be shown to the Institute in typescript before it is sent to a publisher, and that the Institute retains the right to delete or amend reference to living persons in it.

4. That the Institute is indemnified by the person to whom material as specified in 3. is made available against any action brought as a result of publication.

5. That correct archival references are provided for any material that is published.


Pencil only is to be used in the Archives NO ball-, fibre- or metal-point pens; computers may be used.

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We do NOT accept orders for reproductions of documents held in the Warburg Institute Archive, but we do accept orders for reproductions of photographs. The usual restrictions apply to photographs representing unpublished works in copyright (e.g. Aby Warburg’s ‘Bilderreihen’ or Mnemosyne Atlas plates).

Charges for a high resolution digital photograph are £7 (+ VAT for UK customers). Prices for reproductions of 1920s glass negatives (e.g. Warburg’s ‘Bilderreihen’ or Mnemosyne Atlas plates) on request. A minimum charge of £10 for every invoice applies. EU customers will be charged VAT unless they supply a VAT No.

Reproduction permission charges are waived for books with a print run up to 1000 copies and for scholarly articles (if a copy of the publication is presented to our library).

If you wish to place a photo-order, please email Warburg.Archive(at) with the requested information. Advance payment is required. For invoices up to £100 we currently only accept payment made by credit card (Visa and Mastercard) or cheque/cash. Payments made by BACS (for invoices over £100) - from which bank fees must not be deducted - must have been credited to our account before we are able to dispatch your order.

Archive users can request a limited amount of reproductions of documents for study purposes on site, not exceeding a maximum of 10 % of every catalogue number or 50 copies per week. Reproduction of letters in the Correspondence Archive is at the discretion of the Archivist. Reproduction of fragile or unsorted material is not permitted.


Permission to publish copyright material must be sought in writing from the Director.


The Archive is currently organised into four main sections.

I. Material relating to the library in Hamburg and in London .
II. Photographs
III.-IV. Aby Warburg’s Papers

This structure will be subject to changes in the near future.

Quotations should be as follows:


WIA [for Warburg Institute Archive], complete catalogue number, title.


WIA, III.53.2. ‘Bildniskunst und florentinisches Bürgertum’, Leipzig 1902, Presentation Copy, inscribed to F. Saxl, 12 March 1914, p.7.



WIA, GC [General Correspondence], F. Saxl to A. Warburg, 12 April 1929.

WIA, FC [Family Correspondence], A. Warburg to Max M. Warburg, 5 April 1908.

The Archivist (Warburg.archive(at), will be pleased to answer any enquiries regarding the Archive, and to provide further information.