Access conditions


The reading room and reference service of the Art Library and the Gulbenkian Archives may be accessed by Portuguese and foreign citizens of adult age who need specialized information on:

  1. Art Library Collections:
    Subjects related to the history of art, modern and contemporary visual arts, Portuguese architecture, photography and design and also on the different subjects relevant to the study of the art collections of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and the Modern Art Centre.
  2. Gulbenkian Archives:
    Subjects directly or indirectly related to the life and work of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian and the history of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

National and foreign citizens aged 16 to 17 may also access these services, exclusively for consultation of the Art Library’s current collections.

The following are especially eligible for access to these services:

  • architects and designers
  • artists
  • creators of products of cultural industries
  • art critics
  • curators and conservators
  • publishers and cultural journalists
  • students in professional artistic education
  • higher education students from the above mentioned areas
  • photographers
  • gallery owners and collectors
  • teachers and researchers
  • individuals, in their own name or on behalf of third parties or organizations, with a need or interest in consulting documentation from the Gulbenkian Archives that directly concerns them.

User registration

The use of the reading room requires prior registration of the user, whose data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Policy in force at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 

Registration will result in the possession of a user card that is personal and non-transferable.

The card contains a code that identifies the user, and its use is necessary for entering and leaving the reading room and for all document reservation and request procedures.

The user card is free of charge.

User registration can be done:

In person

At the reference service, during its opening hours.

By e-mail

By sending the following data to [email protected]:

  • Identification
  • Date of birth
  • Reasons why you wish to use the reading services

The services will send the user, by e-mail, the enrolment confirmation, and your card number, with which you will be able to request documents.

On your first visit to the reading room, you must confirm the registration and collect the User Card from the reference service.

Renewal of user registration

User registration is valid for one year and can be renewed in one of the following ways:

In person

At the reference service, during its opening hours.

By e-mail

Confirming the following data to the address [email protected]:

  • Address
  • Telephone contact
  • Academic qualifications

A second copy of the user card implies the payment of a 5€ fee (See Price List).

The Art Library and Archives reserves the right not to renew or to cancel the User Registration, whenever the General Conditions of Access and Use, in force, have not been respected.

Rules of access and use

Only users with a valid user card may access the reading room. Access is also subject to:

  1. have made a request for documentation using one of the schemes provided (See conditions under “Reading Service“).
  2. have been assigned a seat, according to the room’s capacity.

For reasons connected with the Foundation’s internal security, the entry of people and goods may be restricted.

The entry is only permitted with items that are essential for consulting the documentation. All other personal items must be taken to the cloakroom located in the Art Library’s outdoor atrium.

When using the reading room, the following conditions must be observed:

  1. When entering and leaving the reading room the user must identify him/herself with his/her card on the ID scanners and, if necessary, with the security staff.
  2. The reading room of the Art Library is exclusively for consulting the documentary collections of the Library and Archives. The entrance and consultation of publications from outside is not allowed.
  3. The reading room is a space dedicated to study and research and its atmosphere should encourage concentration. As such, group work is not permitted, nor is conversation among users.
  4. It is not allowed to eat, drink, or change the position of the equipment available.
  5. Mobile phones should be kept in silence mode.
  6. For the preservation of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s documentary heritage, it is not allowed to write, underline, annotate or make decals on the documents being consulted, fold sheets, force the bindings or perform any other harmful acts.
  7. Each user is responsible for the books requested from the moment they are received until they are returned and checked by the reception staff.
  8. It is not allowed the exchange or cession of works between users, nor the transportation, even temporarily, of the species out of the reading room.
  9. Each user must report any anomaly or deficiency detected in the species being consulted or in the equipment used.

All guidelines and recommendations for consultation and handling of species and equipment transmitted by the staff on duty in the Reading Room must be complied with.

Updated on 03 january 2023

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