Library of the Royal Academy of Arts catalogue loaded

We’re pleased to announce that the holdings of the Royal Academy of Arts Library have been added to Copac.

The Royal Academy Library holds a comprehensive collection of books and exhibition catalogues on British art, artists and architects, with a particular concentration on the life and practice of past and present Members of the Royal Academy and the history of the institution, its exhibitions and collections.

Photo of Royal Academy of Arts Library

The Royal Academy of Arts Library. Photo: Benedict Johnson.

Holdings include complete runs of the Royal Academy annual (Summer) exhibition catalogues from 1769 to the present, and the loan exhibition catalogues from 1870 to now. The library also holds a special collection of illustrated books, which highlights the contribution of British artists to the illustration and design of the book.

The library’s Historic Book collection, comprising some 12,000 volumes published before 1920, reflects the early teaching philosophy of the Academy Schools. It includes rare volumes of engravings reproducing masterpieces from classical to post-Renaissance European art and architecture, and original editions of virtually all the early treatises on art, anatomy, perspective, colour theory and connoisseurship.

To browse, or limit your search to the holdings of the Royal Academy of Arts Library, go to the main tab on copac.ac.uk and choose ‘Royal Academy of Arts’ from the list of libraries.

Cataloguing update issues

Each of our contributing libraries supplies updates to keep Copac data current and accurate (this is generally weekly or monthly, but may be less frequent for smaller contributors whose collections are less subject to change). Due to circumstances beyond our control, some library catalogue updates on Copac are currently subject to delay.

The library catalogues for Imperial College London, Manchester, Sheffield and York Universities are all currently awaiting updates on the Copac database. These libraries have all moved to a new library management system, Alma, and are currently unable to export adequate data for Copac. Until Alma have resolved this problem the records on Copac will not reflect the latest information available on these libraries’ catalogues.

Meanwhile, at the Copac end we are actively testing the exported data with one of the libraries to help with resolving this problem. Once the data export is working for one of the libraries we are hoping to get updates back to normal for the affected libraries fairly quickly, but a system change requires a catalogue reload for each library which may take a few weeks overall.

The University of Birmingham is also changing library system and has suspended updates in the meantime. We are awaiting more information on their progress.

We hope this issue will be remedied soon but don’t have any confirmed date as yet. We do appreciate that this is frustrating and thank you for your patience.

Once the move to the new Copac database takes place we will be looking at more streamlined ways of managing data updates and supporting particularly our smaller contributors with this process. You can see when records were last added from each library on our Library Update page.