As a closed collection, the Wallace Collection is unable to add to its core collections.
However, ever since its foundation the Collection has from time to time acquired works of art and documents relating to the history of the Collection and the lives of its Founders, as well as the works of art within the Collection. Formerly technically treated as part of the Library of Hertford House, these acquisitions now form the Hertford House Historic Collection.
The Historic Collection includes a fascinating variety of works, in all media and dating from the 18th century to the present day, from original works of art by artists of the calibre of Richard Cosway and Eugène Delacroix to ephemera such as a set of cigarette cards of The Laughing Cavalier.
The collection has been acquired through gifts, bequests and occasional purchases. A selection of items from the Historic Collection is usually on display in the Front Hall of the Wallace Collection and it is planned to make it available on line as part of the Wallace Live project .