Using the collections

Books, drawings, photographs and documents from the Library collections

Everyone is welcome to explore and study the collections of the RIBA, held in the British Architectural Library. Access is free and there is a team of friendly and informed staff onsite to help any visitors or researchers. Contact the Information Centre if you have any questions about the collections, the RIBA or architecture in general.

The collections, which cover a wide range of subjects in architecture, design and history, can be accessed in several ways - in person or online:



Visit Us

The collections and services of the Library are based at two public sites: the RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Admission is free.

Please check the different opening times and admissions policies of the collections and sites before your visit.


Reading Room, British Architectural Library

Copyright: British Architectural Library



Workshops and inductions to the Library and collections are available as part of the Library's education programme. These are free to students. 

Dedicated spaces are provided by the Library for use by groups to study materials from the collections at the RIBA and the V&A.

Students looking at the Library collections

Copyright: British Architectural Library

Exhibitions and talks

Items from the collections can be enjoyed in the free temporary exhibitions and talks at the RIBA and V&A.

Parts of the collection are on loan and can be seen at other institutions across Europe and North America. 

A permanent exhibition covering over 2,500 years of architecture is open at the V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery. Admission is free.

Exhibition in Room 128a, V&A+RIBA Architecture Gallery

Copyright: British Architectural Library

Loan Library

Around 4,500 books from the Loan Library (part of the British Architectural Library) are available for loan to members of the RIBA. These books can be sent by post to borrowers in the UK or overseas (postage fees are payable by borrower).


Loan Library, British Architectural Library

Copyright: British Architectural Library


The collections can also be enjoyed in a range of permanent online exhibitions.

Discover what can be found in the Library's collections through the online catalogue.

The collections are also being digitised; at the start of 2012 this figure reached 60,000 items and continues to grow. View these and order these via RIBApix, one of the world's best sources of architectural images.




Reprographic services

A range of reprographic services are available to visitors and remote users, subject to copyright and fees.

Scanners and photocopiers are available at 66 Portland Place, while photocopies of the Library's books and journals can be made and sent to users. Other material (if not already on RIBApix) can be scanned by the Library's professional photographer. 


Copyright: British Architectural Library


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