The Art Libraries Journal (ALJ) is the foremost international forum of the art library profession, with contributions from key specialists in art librarianship and visual resources, including librarians, archivists, collection managers, artists, curators, conservators and art historians.  

The journal began 9 years after ARLIS’s establishment. Its forerunner, The ARLIS Newsletter, ceased publication in 1975 and was replaced with a new A5 format, quarterly journal “…to develop a forum for more substantial and international material in recognition of strengthening links within the international community of art librarians.” [Beth Houghton, “Preface” in: Art Libraries Journal and ARLIS/UK & Eire News-sheet Ten Year Index. Compiled by John Bowman (London: ARLIS/UK & Eire, 1993)] It was the first academic journal devoted to visual arts librarianship, and its circulation  worldwide.   

The ambition was and is to carry both scholarly and practical articles, reflecting the diversity of collections and library cultures supporting the visual arts. There have been a number of special geographic issues, featuring articles about Scandinavian, French, Russian, and German libraries, and more recently art libraries in Japan and China. The ALJ has prioritised the publication of selected conference and symposium papers, which  demonstrate a commitment to representing the profession as it evolves. Coverage offers a wide spread of relevant subjects, ranging from the role of art libraries in a globalised world and the impact of the Internet and digital technology on art documentation, to historical libraries and collections. Recent special issue themes have included online repositories and catalogues raisonnés, information literacy, library architecture, as well as zines and other artists’ publications. 

In response to an increasing demand for online access and to the high costs of both the production and administration of a printed journal, in 2015 ARLIS took the decision to enter a publishing partnership with Cambridge University Press. This has secured online access to the entire run of back issues through digitization, as well as as a refreshed design and publication in colour.


Key journal information

ISSN 0307-4722 

4 issues per year, sign up for free ALJ content alerts.

Abstracts and contents from 1976 (Vol.1 no.1) to the current issue are freely available online via Cambridge Core.

For all print and online orders or subscription enquiries contact Cambridge University Press.

The full run of the journal has been digitized and access can be purchased through Cambridge University Press.

For back issues in print published before 2016, contact the editor.

Two 10-year Indexes have been produced (1976-1985 compiled by John Bowman and 1986-1995 compiled by Jonathan Hopson), please contact the editor for PDF files. 


Editorial Team


Gustavo Grandal Montero 

University of the Arts London

Associate Editor 

Kraig Binkowski 

Yale Center for British Art
New Haven, CT

Associate Editor 

Michael Wirtz 

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar