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Collectors and collecting: Books and dissertations

Resources for studying collectors and collecting, both historic and contemporary.

Some books about women collectors and patrons



Most e-books will be found with Summon.

However please also see the e-book guide for:

  • more info about the e-book collections available in Summon
  • links to other e-book collections which need to be searched separately from Summon



You will find most useful books in these sections of the library:

  • PAT  patronage and collecting

This section is organised as follows:

  • PAT1.AAA general histories and discussions.
  • PAT1.ART artists as collectors.
  • PAT1.CC consumer culture, consumption in general. Includes historical studies. 
  • PAT1.COM commissioning.
  • PAT1.CORC corporate collecting, including catalogues.
  • PAT1.CORS corporate sponsorship
  • PAT1.EDU art education
  • PAT1.GEND gender, e.g. studies of women as collectors
  • PAT1.GLO history of global trade and collecting
  • PAT1.HB handbooks and guides for collectors.
  • PAT1.LOS lost works of art and recovered works of art (books about stolen works are at AB.ETH)
  • PAT1.PROV provenance
  • PAT2 studies organised by time period, but without a particular geographic focus
  • PAT3-PAT7 studies organised by country or area. 
  • PAT8 individual patrons, collectors and dealers. Includes a few institutions, such as the Royal Academy.


See also these sections:

  • AB.CON        conservation and care of artworks
  • AB.ETH        art world ethics
  • AB.LAW        art law
  • AB.MKT        art markets
  • COL            catalogues of permanent collections of Tate, Wallace and MoMA. 
  • MUSE          museums, galleries and curating   


Sales catalogues 

These are useful for seeing how auction houses present artworks to collectors, and also researching collections sold at auction.

See the auction houses and catalogues guide for more information.  In the SIA library, we have private collections sections for both Sotheby's and Christie's.



Please see the following guides: