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Collecting and Provenance Research: Collectors

Center for the History of Collecting

The Center for the History of Collecting was established at the Frick Art Reference Library in 2007 to encourage and support the study of the formation of collections of fine and decorative arts, both public and private, in Europe and the United States from the Renaissance to the present day.

Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America - See more at: http://www.frick.org/research/research_tools#sthash.IFJuA3Hf.dpuf

Researching collectors


Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947) from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Biographical information
about collectors

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Burke's Peerage
World Biographical Information System
Ancestry Library Edition
European Biographical Directory

Collector information in auctions

SCIPIO: Catalogue of North American and European auction catalogues and their holding libraries. Search by clicking on the "Online database" link next to the green check mark.


Frits Lugt: Sales Catalogues Online

Archival collector information

Getty Provenance Index: Archival Inventories
Getty Collectors Files database
National Archives (London)
Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Historical collections

AAM Guide to Provenance Research, "Appendix A: Selected Bibliography on the history of collecting: collectors, collections, grand tours".
Getty Provenance Research Resources: Selected Collections 
Redford, George. Art Sales. A History of Sales of Pictures and other Works of Art.
Balsiger, Barbara Jeanne. "The Kunst-und Wunderkamern: A Catalogue Raisonne of Collecting in Germany, France and England, 1565-1750." PhD diss.