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Nymph reclining with a nymph playing a lyre

Learn more about art works that make up the Royal Collection

Where are the Royal Library and Royal Archives?

Windsor Castle

The principal collection of historical Royal Library material is held at Windsor Castle, in a series of three rooms adapted by William IV in the 1830s. This collection consists of the majority of the Library’s historic material as well as extensive collections of reference material on history, biography, geography and literature.

This collection is supplemented by items held in store at Windsor, consisting of further works on history and literature as well as the Royal Library’s collection of scientific texts.

At Windsor is a substantial reference collection for Royal Collection Trust sections. In addition, there is a collection of Queen Victoria’s childhood literature, and material from the libraries of Queen Charlotte, Queen Mary and Victoria, Duchess of Kent at Frogmore House.

The Royal Archives are primarily stored in the Round Tower at Windsor Castle. They have been held there since the foundation of the Archives in 1914.

Queen Elizabeth's Gallery, in the Royal Library, WC. Shelves filled with books are either side of the walkway, chairs stand to the right. Window bays are on the left & a fireplace with carved niches and a bust above are (near) right.

The Upper Library, Windsor Castle ©

St James’s Palace

A substantial art reference library is held at York House for the curatorial sections of Royal Collection Trust based there.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Holyroodhouse contains a small reference collection as well as historic material relating to Scotland and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Osborne House

The majority of material at Osborne House is Queen Victoria’s collection of literature.

Palace of Westminster

The Royal Library’s collection of Hansard (a complete set from the beginning of the Parliamentary record to 1900 ) is at the Department of the Official Record in the House of Commons.


There are some books on long-term loan to the library of the University of Aberdeen and the British Golf Museum in St Andrews. The set of the Navy List formerly housed on the Royal Yacht Britannia is now on long-term loan to the Army & Navy Club in London. From time to time other items can be found on short-term loan at exhibitions.

There are also extensive collections of items at Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle, as well as at Clarence House and Birkhall. Books in these residences are the private property of Her Majesty The Queen and stem from the private collections of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King George VI and their consorts.