Birkbeck Department of History of Art

Our Society is affiliated to the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck, University of London.               The liaison representative between the Society and Birkbeck is committee member John Peacock, and if you have any questions at all about Birkbeck do please email John on

Our affiliation gives us unique access to art history experts and contacts in the art world.  Lecturers from Birkbeck are generous with their support for our activities:

  • at least one of the six or so free evening lectures each year is delivered by a Birkbeck lecturer
  • lecturers provide regular articles for our annual journal, the Review
  • all members of our Society are able to join the main Birkbeck Library in Malet Street at no cost (see the panel at the side of this page)

The Society supports Birkbeck History of Art students.  We do this through an annual donation called the “London Art History Society Research Fund”.  The Fund provides money to help with student costs associated with academic research, travel, and college conference organisation.  Its value for academic year 2020-2021 is £2400.  The Society also funds an annual prize for the best MA dissertation each year. Both funds are administered by the college on our behalf.

Our association with Birkbeck reaches back to 1981 when the Society was first formed.  The Society was launched by a small group of Birkbeck alumni as ULEMHAS (the University of London Extra-Mural History of Art Society) and we have retained our strong link with the university ever since.  We encourage all Society members to feel involved in Birkbeck life, to attend college events and to explore undertaking courses at Birkbeck.  Details of all such courses, events and opportunities we think are likely to be of interest to members are posted here, on these Birkbeck pages. As a consequence of the present covid emergency all courses in 2020-2021 are being delivered online rather than face-to-face.   Please read more by clicking the panels below.

Birkbeck Library

The Birkbeck Library in the Malet Street building holds an important collection of art historical material, as invaluable for general background reading as it is for detailed study. All London Art History Society members are entitled to acquire a Birkbeck Library card and use the library on a reference basis completely free of charge. Enhancing your membership of the Library to include borrowing rights is possible for a price of £70 per year.  More information.