Participants looking at original collection material during a Closer Look talk, V&A
Explore the collectionsOne of the world's best architectural resources is available to all to enjoy and without charge.

Image: Collections on display during a RIBA curator-led talk

Regarded as having one of the top three architectural collections in the world and the finest in Europe, the British Architectural Library at the RIBA is home to over four million items:

  • 150,000 books
  • 2,000 periodicals titles
  • 1 million drawings
  • 1.5 million archive items
  • 1.5 million photographs

Highlights include the world's largest collection of drawings by architect Andrea Palladio, a collection of printed books dating back to 1478 and the photographic archive of the Architectural Press.

Visitor noticeUntil spring 2014, there will be reduced access to the collections at 66 Portland Place and the V&A.


Visiting the collections

Everyone is welcome to visit and use the collections. Admission is free to the Library's two public sites: the Reading Room at the RIBA (66 Portland Place, London) and the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Visitors can explore the collections as part of the Library's education programmes and in exhibitions and talks at the RIBA and beyond.

View the collections online

The collections can also be explored remotely through the RIBA's expanding range of online exhibitions and the image database RIBApix.


Much of the work related to the collections takes place behind the scenes. Discover the RIBA's conservation work undertaken for its drawings by Palladio.


Top of page