The Barber Fine Art Library is located on the ground floor of the Barber. The library is a specialist research-level collection of books, exhibition catalogues and sale catalogues on Western art covering most of the major European schools of painting from the early Renaissance to the 21st century, the history of collecting, and also some Byzantine art.

The items in the Barber Fine Art Library are for reference use only. Books formerly available for loan from the Barber Fine Art Library have been relocated to the Main Library of the University of Birmingham. Books on African art, Ancient art, oriental art, and on the decorative arts are located in the Main Library and the Orchard Learning Resource Centre.

The Barber Institute and its interiors have Grade I listed status and has undergone very few alterations except for the provision of up to date IT facilities. The tables and chairs were designed by Gordon Russell. The Main Reading Room functions as a dedicated quiet study space.

Facilities and Resources:

Access and Support:

All university libraries and resource centres offer the following services:

  • Book fetching
  • Extended loans
  • Help with catalogue
  • Stock transfer
  • Text Relay

Please note: These services are available in the Barber Fine Art Library from 10.00 to 16.00, Monday to Friday.

Specific facilities and access in this library:

  • Accessible toilets
  • Parking for people with disabilities
  • Quiet / Silent Study area
  • Wheelchair Access (limited)

This site has the following specialist equipment available:

  • Bar Magnifier
  • Coloured overlays
  • Magnifying glass
  • Magnifying sheet

Cover image: ©Gordon Wallace


Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 10am to 5pm

Friday: 10am – 12:45pm; 2.15 – 5pm

Saturday and Sunday: Closed



Please note that not all facilities are currently available – find the most recent updates on the Barber Fine Art Library’s intranet page.


The Barber Fine Art Library is located on the ground floor of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Tel: 0121 414 7334 Fax: 0121 414 5853 Email:

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