The RKD's library is the Netherlands' largest art historical library. Its diverse collection ranges from monographs, early editions and rare books to general literature about art. Its holdings of sales catalogues rank among the most important in the world.

The library's collection focuses on Western art from the late Middle Ages up to the present. Along with many more recent monographs and general publications on art, there are also early and rare editions. Other important sub-collections are artists' books, and collection and exhibition catalogues. The collection of sales catalogues contains many copies annotated with prices, buyer's names, and other information.

The library boasts around 475,000 volumes, of which circa 180,000 are sales catalogues, and around 4100 magazines, including close to 600 running periodical subscriptions. The collection also includes publications in digital form, such as PDF's, online publication (for instance, sales catalogues through 1900), and DVD/CD-roms.

The entire collection is accessible via the RKDlibrary database, with the exception of sales catalogues from 1904 through 1972, only a part of which has been entered in the database. The yet to be disclosed material may be consulted upon request in the library's reading room. The open shelves there contain art lexicons, general reference works and art literature, recent issues of periodicals, and recent sales catalogues. While some of the library collection is found in the study room, the majority is held in a storage facility, and must be ordered using the public computers.

A maximum of 20 titles/volumes per day can be requested from storage. Should you wish to request more, please submit a list of the publications with the relevant information a few days in advance by email to