Due to Covid-19 restrictions the Reading Room is currently closed. Please check here for further updates, or contact the Reading Room for further information.
Sharing the Collections and making them accessible is at the heart of our mission. The Reading Room is designed to accommodate researchers wishing to visit the museum and consult collection objects not currently on display and our reference collection. The Chester Beatty is also in the first phase of an exciting new initiative to digitise the entire collection, so that visitors around the world can access the collection online.
The Chester Beatty welcomes all students, researchers and scholars to engage directly with our world class collections materials to further their research and studies. Please review the sections below for a list of our available research services.
Access to the research library is by appointment only so please see the information below to plan your research visit.
The reference collection comprises over 18,000 books, periodicals and sales catalogues which support research into the Chester Beatty Collections, some of which were acquired by Beatty himself. Subject holdings include the Arts of the Book, Buddhism and Buddhist Iconography, Calligraphy, Christianity, East Asian Art, Islam, Islamic Art, Illuminated Manuscripts and Printmaking.
Please note that the file sizes of the PDF catalogue downloads are fairly large, make sure you have enough internet bandwidth to manage the activity.