Art, drama and music collections

You can find art, drama and music collections in the Central library.

Art collection

The collection has material on the fine and applied arts.

About half of the art collection is reference only, which means you can’t borrow it. The material you can borrow is in the Lending library, on the ground floor.

Reference collection

Our reference collection includes:

  • art books
  • the historic buildings index
  • the Victorian paintings index
  • biographical information on artists
  • valuation guides for antiques, art objects and other material
  • over 8000 mounted colour illustrations
  • guidebooks for historic buildings
  • art exhibition catalogues
  • old trade catalogues

For more information, contact the staff at the Reference Library by emailing or ringing 0117 903 7202.

Drama collection

The drama collection holds over 3,000 playsets and single copies of plays.

You can view a copy of our drama collection catalogue (pdf, 2.4MB) (opens new window) .

If you know what play set you want, our librarians can get it for you at any time.

For up to date information, or to arrange to browse the collection, contact the staff at the Lending Library by emailing or ringing 0117 903 7250.

Music collection

We have a large collection of single copy scores and music related books and periodicals.

We also run a service for local performing groups that enables them to borrow vocal and orchestral sets.

For more information about the music service please email or ring 0117 9037250.

For information on charges relating to the loan of music sets see the library charges page.


It’s against copyright to reproduce a play or perform it in public without the owner’s consent.

You must apply directly to the copyright holder for consent to perform a play. The publisher of the work can tell you who the copyright holder is, and how you can get permission to perform it.

For up to date information on this, contact the staff at the Reference Library by emailing or ringing 0117 903 7250.