Library and databases


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The NIKI’s library is accessible on weekdays from 9:00 AM to 5.30 PM upon presentation of your ID card; no letter of introduction is required.

To access the library and reserve a seat, you must make a reservation a couple of days in advance by writing an e-mail to Please wait for an answer.

To ensure the availability of the publications you wish to consult, we recommend you to indicate the references in your e-mail.

The NIKI guests have access to the library 24/7.
The library is open access and the books are not on loan. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building.

Characteristic of our collection policy, the artistic relations between the Netherlands and Italy and the history of the art of drawing and printmaking are specific focal points that distinguish our library from other libraries and knowledge hubs internationally. Our library contains more than 66.000 volumes and eighty current periodicals. In addition, the collection contains more than 5.000 auction catalogues.

The library catalogue is in custody with IRIS, a partnership among The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti), the Uffizi Library, the Bargello Museum, the Italian National Institute for Renaissance Studies, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Biblioteca Vinciana, the Carlo e Rosanna Pedretti Foundation (Vinci) and the NIKI.

The NIKI’s collection can be consulted digitally via the Online Public Access Catalogue of the IRIS consortium and via the Art Discovery Group Catalogue of WorldCat/OCLC.

Photographic archive

The NIKI has a unique photo archive with more than 70.000 photos.
The basis is formed by three historical collections:

These collections are of great value for international research on European painting of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Between 2005 and 2007 the material was largely digitised. More than 45.000 digital images are now available online.

The original photographs and master scans can be studied at the institute by appointment with the librarian Gert Jan van der Sman:


The Photographic Archive of the Dutch University Institute for Art History

This database contains more than 45.000 digital images of the more than 70.000 photos from our photo library. These images were digitised between 2005 and 2007. 

Corpus of Works of Art Offered at Auction in Italy, 1800-1914

This database contains descriptions of more than 120.000 works of art that were put up for auction in Italy between 1800 and 1914.