Library news

Changes in access to the collections 2013 - 2017

2013 - early 2017

There are temporary changes to access to some of the British Architectural Library's sites, services and collections at 66 Portland Place and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Visitors are advised to check this page for updates or to contact us .

We apologise for the inconvenience.


Books and Periodicals Collection – Reduced access

April 2013 - late spring 2014

Reading Room, Library, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London


New books

New books in the RIBA's collections

The Reading Room will be open as normal, but until late spring 2014, due to their relocation to enable work on the new gallery, some items from the  Books and Periodicals Collection  are available by appointment only or will not be accessible. Check the Library's online catalogue for the locations of items before your visit. Affected locations and their current availability are listed below.

Location Current access
77 Portland Place, BASEMENT, BOX, Pamphlet or AV Advanced appointment
SP-COLL Special request


Advanced appointment Items located at 77 Portland Place, BASEMENT, BOX, Pamphlet or AV are available to visitors via the Reading Room (66 Portland Place). These items are stored offsite and are collected once a week by staff on Thursdays; the deadline for requests each week is 5pm on Wednesdays. Please fill in the 'Closed Access Request form' and email the completed form to  . Please mark your email 'Closed Access Request'.


Special request or no access For conservation reasons any books or periodicals with the location 'SP-COLL' can only be seen by special request. All items with the location 'HANDLEY-READ' will be unavailable due to the fragility of the material. 


Drawings and Archives Collections – New Access and Operational Procedures   

25 March 2014 - early 2017

RIBA Architecture Study Rooms and V&A Print Room, Henry Cole Wing, Victoria and Albert Museum  


Design for the interior of the Dome of Discovery, Festival of Britain, 1951

Interior design scheme for a modern home, Dome of Discovery, Festival of Britain, 1951
Image: © RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections

Due to construction work being carried out at the V&A on the new Exhibition Road gallery, café and shop, access to both the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms and V&A Print Room in the Henry Cole Wing will be restricted and will only be by advanced appointment only (Tuesday – Friday). To make a booking, please contact the RIBA Drawings and Archives Collections on:

Email: drawings& 
Phone: +44 (0)20 7307 3708

We will need to know what day you plan to visit, along with details of the material you wish to view, including the call reference(s).

There will be a morning or afternoon appointment (with the opportunity to work through the whole day). Researchers will be collected and escorted into the building at 10.15am and 2.15pm. The meeting point for the collections is at the V&A Exhibition Road public entrance. Researchers can bring their coats and bags with them to the Study Rooms where coat racks and lockers will be available. Please note, there will be some stairs on route so please let us know in advance if you have any access requirements. If you arrive later than these times, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to arrange for you to be collected on demand as this depends on staff availability. However, if you know that you are unable to arrive for these times, please contact us in advance ASAP.

There will be an opportunity to leave the Study Rooms at 1pm for lunch or to return to the public areas of the museum. If you need to leave any earlier or later, please let us know on the day and we can arrange for you to be escorted back to the public areas of the museum. The Study Rooms close at 5pm when you will be escorted out of the Henry Cole wing.

There will be several retrieval times on the day for RIBA drawings or archives material. However, depending on the nature of the material, we may have to restrict the amount. As a guideline, researchers can request up to five items (e.g. boxes or folders) per retrieval.

Unfortunately there may be considerable noise from the works during this period in the Study Rooms. We apologise for this and any other inconvenience caused with the new access and operational procedures and thank you in advance for your patience and co-operation. These procedures will be reviewed and updated on a periodic basis, so before travelling please confirm current details by checking this page or phone the Study Rooms on +44 (0)20 7307 3708.


Photographs Collection – Reduced access

March 2013 - late spring 2014

Reading Room, Library, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London


George Thomson Building, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

George Thomson Building, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Image: © Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Access to the  Robert Elwall Photographs Collection will be substantially reduced from March 2013 and until after the building works on the new gallery are complete. Viewing appointments for photographs will be strictly limited until late spring 2014. Anyone with specific queries about the photograph collections should contact: .

There are over 75,000 images from the collections available from our image library at  RIBApix; our Imaging Services team can be contacted at


Other news

For news from the rest of the RIBA go to News and Press .

Read about the latest activities of the Library and share your comments on RIBA Blogs

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