Books Collection

Recent Library publications

The British Architectural Library produces a wide range of books on architecture, history and photography based on its own extensive collections, while its librarians and curators contribute to other publications and are engaged in published research using material from the Library. Detailed catalogues have been produced for exhibitions where the RIBA was involved or lent items.

These publications are available for reference purposes by visiting the Library's Reading Room at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London (search the online catalogue for current holdings). Some can be purchased from RIBA Bookshops or


2010 - 2013 

Charles Correa: India's Greatest Architect

2013: Charles Correa: India's Greatest Architect


Cambridge in Concrete

2012: Cambridge in Concrete     


Puttin' on the Glitz

2011: Puttin' on the Glitz 


Edwin Smith

2010: Edwin Smith


Palladio and His Legacy

2010: Palladio and His Legacy




2006 - 2009 


2009: Palladio


Le Corbusier

2009: Le Corbusier


Henk Snoek

2009: Henk Snoek


Framing Modernism

2009: Framing Modernism


Evocations of Place

2007: Evocations of Place


Image and Experience; the Photography of John Donat

2007: John Donat


Great Buildings of London

2006: Great Buildings of London




2000 - 2005

Building with Light

2004: Building with Light


66 Portland Place

2004: 66 Portland Place


Early Printed Books 1478-1840

2003: Early Printed Books 1478 - 1840


Directory of British Architects 1834-1914

2001: Directory of British Architects 1834 - 1914


John Maltby

2000: John Maltby


Eric de Maré

2000: Eric de Maré


Building a Better Tomorrow

2000: Building a Better Tomorrow





Charles Correa: India's Greatest Architect

This book celebrates the work of India’s greatest architect – Charles Correa. Correa’s work has provided inspiration for future generations of architects at a time of vertiginous population and economic growth in the region. For this, he has received many awards including Britain's highest architectural accolade, the Royal Gold Medal in 1984. This book is produced to accompany the RIBA exhibition 'Charles Correa: India’s Greatest Architect'.

Author: Irena Murray
Publisher: RIBA
ISBN: 9781859465172  


Cambridge in Concrete: Images from the RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection

Drawing upon visual material from the Library, this book contains illustrated essays examining the concrete structures in Cambridge built between the 1950s and 1960s and their legacy. As well as embodying the optimistic and innovative spirit of architecture in the post-war period, these buildings are part of the hidden and misunderstood heritage of the city. The book accompanies an exhibition held at the University of Cambridge in 2012.

Editors: Marco Iuliano and Francois Penz
Publisher: Napoli: Paparo
ISBN: 9788897083399


"Puttin' on the Glitz": The Golden Years of Art Deco Architecture in Britain

The result of the exhibition "Puttin' on the Glitz: The Golden Years of Art Deco Architecture in Britain", this book uses vintage photographs and drawings not seen in the exhibition, and all drawn from the collections of the RIBA, to explore British Art Deco architecture at its peak during the inter-war years.

Authors: Justine Sambrook, Robert Elwall and Jonathan Makepeace


Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey

Using many items from the RIBA's collections, "Palladio and His Legacy" explores how Palladio studied and reinterpreted the architecture of antiquity, how he developed his ideas, how his message spread, and how Palladianism developed and spread across America, where Palladio's legacy has remained longest and most widespread. The publication was the catalogue of the RIBA exhibition which toured the United States from 2010 to 2011.

Authors: RIBA in association with Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio; Charles Hind and Irena Murray (editors)
Publisher: Venice: Marsilio
ISBN: 978883170562 

Edwin Smith

This book coincided with an exhibition at the Chris Beetles Gallery, which was a collaboration between the gallery and the Photographs Collection, looking at the work of architectural photographer Edwin Smith.

Author: David Wootton; with an essay by Robert Elwall
Publisher: London: Beetles
ISBN: 9781905738250



Published to accompany the exhibition 'Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy' at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2009 which was organised with the collaboration of the RIBA. The exhibition used many original drawings by Palladio from the RIBA's collections.

Authors: Edited by Guido Beltramini and Howard Burns
Publisher: London: Royal Academy of Arts
ISBN: 9781905711246 

Le Corbusier and Britain: An Anthology 

With contributions by such prominent architects and critics as Edwin Lutyens, Herbert Read, Evelyn Waugh, Peter Smithson, Jane Drew, Basil Spence and Christopher Booker are accompanied by 150 illustrations, together with writings and drawings by Le Corbusier himself. The book features the most comprehensive bibliography of British writings by and about Le Corbusier ever published.

Authors: Irena Murray and Julian Osley (British Architectural Library)
Publisher: Abingdon: Routledge
ISBN: 9780415479943

Henk Snoek: Architectural Photography

Practising from the late 1950's until his death in 1980, Henk Snoek was admired for his “facility of composing the most complex and intricate subject matter into a picture of great scale, formal clarity and tonal contrasts”. The Snoek archive in the Photographs Collection consists of 40,000 black and white negatives and colour transparencies representing the photographer’s prolific career. This publication provides a comprehensive and fascinating overview of one of the most complete and significant archives of architectural photography in the 20th century. Available online from from £15.70 (£22.95 hardback).

Authors: Laura Whitton; introduction by Robert Elwall

Framing Modernism: Architecture and Photography in Italy 1926 - 1965

A look at the impact of photography on the recording and development of Modernist architecture in Italy. Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name held at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London, 29 April - 21 June 2009 and curated by Robert Elwall and Valeria Carullo (British Architectural Library Photographs Collection).

Authors: Robert Elwall and Valeria Carullo
Publisher: Estorick Foundation 


Evocations of Place: the Photography of Edwin Smith

The first major study for over 20 years of one of Britain's greatest photographers. The chief source for this publication is Smith's collection of 60,000 negatives and 20,000 prints held in the Photographs Collection.

Author: Robert Elwall
Publisher: Merrell in association with the RIBA Trust
ISBN: 9781858943732

Image and Experience; the Photography of John Donat
This book looks at the work of the photographer who transformed British architectural photography by applying to it lessons leant from photojournalism. Published to accompany the exhibition of the same name held at the RIBA, London, 24 May - 4 July 2007.

Authors: Robert Elwall; with an essay by Peter Ahrends
Publisher: RIBA British Architectural Library


Great Buildings of London: Knowledge Cards

A pack of 48 cards with images of London's most prominent buildings on one side and details of their history, design and construction on the other. From venerable landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, Modernist icons such as the Penguin Pool at the London Zoo, and the latest marvels of modern technology, among them Swiss Re, are all covered using images from the Photographs Collection.

Author: Robert Elwall
Publisher: Pomegranate
ISBN: 0764940910


Building with Light: the International History of Architectural Photography
Shortlisted for the prestigious CICA and Sir Banister Fletcher book awards, this book looks at how photography has shaped the practice and study of architecture.

Author: Robert Elwall
Publisher: London: Merrell
ISBN: 1858942152

66 Portland Place: The London headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects

This books tells the story of 66 Portland Place, the home of the RIBA, which was opened on 8th November 1934 by King George V and Queen Mary. The book recounts the background of how George Grey Wornum won the commission for the project in an open competition. It explores the contribution of artists and craftsmen and goes on to describe the main facade and magnificent interior of this Grade II* listed building.

Author: Margaret Richardson (1984 edition); revised by Charles Hind (2004)
Publisher: London: RIBA Enterprises
ISBN: 1859461379


Early Printed Books 1478 - 1840:
Catalogue of the British Architectural Library Early Imprints Collection.

At the Library are housed the Early Imprints Collection which holds 4,000 of some of the world's most significant early architectural publications printed between 1478 and 1840. The award-winning 'Early Printed Books 1478-1840' identifies and describes these rare treasures complete with black-and-white illustrations from the collection itself.

Winner of the Besterman/McColvin Medal for an outstanding work of reference: printed category. Paul Nash, compiler and editor, won the Walford Award, organised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), for an individual who has made a sustained contribution to bibliography.

Authors: Nicholas Savage, Gerald Beasley, Alison Shell, Paul W. Nash and John Meriton Coast.
Publisher: London: Bowker-Saur (1994-2003)
ISBN: 3598240538


Directory of British Architects 1834-1914

More than 11,000 British architects working between 1834 and 1914 are included in this directory, complied by staff from the Library. Its scope extends beyond members of the RIBA, to cover all those who practised architecture in Great Britain and overseas.

Authors: Antonia Brodie, Alison Felstead, Jonathan Franklin, Leslie Pinfield and Jane Oldfield; foreword by Mark Girouard.
Publisher: London: Continuum (3rd edition)
ISBN: 0826449638 


John Maltby: Images from the Photographs Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects

This book is devoted to John Maltby (1910 - 80) an architectural photographer who produced some of the most enduringly evocative images of British architecture and design during the 20th century. Maltby rose to prominence during the 1930s, when the camera was influencing architectural practice. Maltby was closely allied to Lubetkin, one of the great modernist émigré architects working in Britain at the time. Maltby also recorded fashionable Art Deco style with a lucrative commission for Odeon Cinemas. After World War II and in stark contrast to the opulence of the Art Deco cinemas, his photographs of Alison and Peter Smithson's Hunstanton school were admired and reproduced around the world, while his commercial work helped to spread the popularity of the Contemporary look.

Author: Robert Elwall
Publisher: London: RIBA Publications
ISBN: 1859460828

Eric de Maré: Images from the Photographs Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects

Eric de Maré (1910 - 2002) was one of Britain's most important and influential architectural photographers. Having trained as an architect in the early 1930s, he subsequently dedicated his career to photography and writing and his compelling images played a leading role in the re-evaluation of British Modernism after the Second World War. The book outlines the life of the photographer and helps to paint an intriguing picture of some of the seminal moments in modern architecture through the superb archive of the Photographs Collection.

Author: Robert Elwall
Publisher: London: RIBA Publications
ISBN: 1859460836

Building a Better Tomorrow: Architecture of the 1950s

An introductory overview to a period which is now being increasingly studied, and in which there is burgeoning interest. The book is primarily visual, little-before-seen photographs have been chosen from the RIBA's collections to illustrate the important buildings and themes of the period. It covers the Festival of Britain's legacy, the heterogeneity of post-war modernism, the survival of traditional styles, education buildings, prefabrication, the New Town movement and the New Brutalism.

Author: Robert Elwall
Publisher: Chichester: Wiley-Academy
ISBN: 0471987077


Top of page