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. Technically treated as part of the Library of Hertford House, these acquisitions now form the Hertford House Historic Collection and forms part of the library.
The Historic Collection includes a fascinating variety of works, in all media 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. One of the most recent acquisitions is a terracotta bust of Sir Richard Wallace by Lebourg. A selection of items from the Historic Collection is often 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.