RIBA Architecture Study Rooms
Copyright: British Architectural Library
Visit the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, located in the Victoria and Albert Museum, to access over 2.5 million architectural items from the RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections. Admission is free and specialists are on hand to assist individual researchers.
Tuesday - Friday
10am - 5pm
Saturday - Monday
The Study Rooms are normally closed for part of August, on English bank holidays and over Christmas. For all the latest information and the times of the Library's other sites and services, please check the Library's opening hours before your visit.
Retrieval of material
Most material is held in stores and made available to visitors on request. Retrieval of material from the stores is operated on a timed system; it is recommended that visitors arrive before these allotted times to avoid waiting for material. Retrieval times are:
Alternatively, you can request material in advance by telephoning the Study Rooms during opening hours on +44 (0)20 7307 3708 (phone line open Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm) so that material is ready before your arrival.
Please note that there are some restrictions to the availability of material from the collections due to the move of some items to a new outstore. It is therefore essential before any research or travel plans are made that visitors check the availability of material from the collections by contacting the Drawings and Archives team.
Everyone is welcome to use the collections, but before any material is requested, readers are asked to read and sign the reader information form. Signing the form implies an agreement to abide by the conditions of use.
The Study Rooms are situated on Level 4 of the Henry Cole Wing at the V&A. Before coming into the rooms, visitors must leave all coats and bags in cloakrooms which are provided free of charge within the museum. The nearest cloakroom is located on Level 0 of the Sackler Centre, another cloakroom is available near the Grand Entrance on Cromwell Road. Visitors can bring pencils, paper and laptop computers to make notes (ink is not allowed). There is free wi-fi access to the internet.
Information about disabled access, local transport and the facilities available in the Study Rooms and the rest of the British Architectural Library (located at 66 Portland Place) can be found in the visit us pages.
Photography and recording equipment is prohibited in the Study Rooms.
Group and educational visits
Schools and other groups are welcome, but must book at least three weeks in advance using the group visit booking form. Groups from schools, colleges and higher education institutions should discuss their visits with the Education Curator to find out more about the Library's free education programmes.
About the rooms
The rooms were designed by Wright & Wright Architects and opened in 2004 as part of the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership, an initiative to promote the understanding and enjoyment of architecture. Access to the holdings of photographs, books and periodicals is through the Library's other site, the Reading Room at the RIBA (66 Portland Place).
Some material from Drawings and Archives Collections have now been relocated to a new, enhanced, purpose-made facility that has increased storage capacity and will improve access through onsite research appointments. However, the collections are currently being audited and their new locations updated so access to the outstore materials is restricted.
We are aware of the inconvenience that the relocation process will cause to our users, but ask for your patience and understanding during this period. We look forward to offering substantially improved access to the offsite collections.