Such a shame that Christies believes that it can no longer keep its archive open for consultation. As with so many things at the moment its closure is said to be a result of Covid. It seems a bit flimsy, and I suspect they’ve thought of doing this for a while. Whenever I contacted them in more recent years the procedure seemed to differ each time. It would be better if they just stated that it can no longer be free access for all and you have to pay an annual fee perhaps. The Witt library at the Courtauld went that way, albeit in a slightly different form as it is now a static source of reference that is no longer added to. Nevertheless it is still a valuable source of reference, particularly as none of it is available online.
It is suggested that Christies might change access arrangements in the future. We can only hope that it does. I always thought it was a great thing to do in allowing access for scholarly research and provenance. It wasn’t money making but it was Christies making a difference. The closure sort of smacks of Trumpian withdrawal from the wider art world. It should realise what a valuable inexpensive difference it was making and how it contributed to art history.