Access conditions

In the context of Covid-19 prophylaxis, the use of a mask is not mandatory, and frequent hand hygiene is recommended.



The reading and reference services of the Gulbenkian Art Library and Archives are available to Portuguese and foreign citizens of adult age requiring specialized information on:

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

The following are 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


User registration

The use of the reading service 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 which 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 services 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 email you your registration confirmation and card number, with which you will be able to make document bookings.

On your first visit to the reading room, you should confirm your registration and collect your 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 fee of 5 euros (See Price List).

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


Terms of use

Only users with a valid user card and who have previously made a documentation reservation, or, as new readers, have been directed to the reading room by the reference service, may access the reading services.  

The search for documents must be made through the catalogue, from which registered users must reserve, in advance, the documentation they wish to consult (See conditions under “Reading Service“).


The following conditions must be observed when using the reading room:

  1. The reading area of the Art Library is exclusively for consulting the documentary collections of the Gulbenkian Library and Archives. It is not permitted to consult publications from outside the Library.
  2. When entering and exiting the reading room, the user must identify himself/herself with his/her card at the gantries and, if necessary, to the security guard.
  3. For reasons related to the Foundation’s internal security, the entry of people and goods may be restricted.
  4. The reading room is a space dedicated to study and research, and its environment should encourage concentration. As such, group work is not permitted, nor is conversation between users.
  5. It is not allowed to eat, drink, or change the placement of furniture and equipment available there.
  6. Mobile phones should be muted.
  7. Only objects that are essential for consulting documentation may be brought in. All other personal items must be taken to the cloakroom located in the outer lobby of the Art Library.
  8. For reasons of preservation of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s documentary heritage, it is forbidden to write, underline, annotate or make decals on the documents on consultation, fold sheets, force the bindings or carry out any other damaging acts.
  9. Each user is responsible for the books requested from the moment they are received until they are returned and checked by the staff.
  10. The exchange or transfer of works between users is not permitted, nor is the transport, even temporarily, of items out of the reading room.
  11. Each user should report any anomaly or deficiency detected in the species being consulted or in the equipment being 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 25 may 2022

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