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Admissions policies

RIBA Architecture Study Rooms

RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, Victoria and Albert Museum

Entry to all the British Architectural Library's sites and collections is free and everyone is welcome. The admissions requirements will vary depending on which site and collection you wish to visit. 

 

Reading Room/

Books and
Periodicals Collection
 

Photographs Collection

Study Rooms/

Drawings and Archives Collections

Entry Free  Free Free
Photographic ID Required Required Not required
Appointment needed? No, except for offsite material.  Yes. Please book before your visit. Yes. Please book before your visit.
Use of cameras and mobiles Allowed for most items Not allowed Allowed for most items
Lockers available for visitors? Yes, free of charge.  Yes, free of charge. Yes, free of charge.

Can materials be requested in advance?

Recommended. Some items are held in stores and collected by staff for visitors at specific times only or require advanced notice.

Essential. All items are collected by staff for visitors before all booked appointments.

Essential. All items are collected by staff for visitors at set times from stores.

 

Please read the additional information below for each site and collection you require before your visit. 

 

Collections:

     

Books and Periodicals Collection

Until late spring 2014 there will be reduced access to parts of the Books and Periodicals Collection

Location: Reading Room, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Entry: Entry is free. For access to the Reading Room, members of the RIBA must bring their RIBA membership card. Access to non-RIBA members is on production of proof of identity, which must contain a photograph, e.g. passport, driving licence, student university ID, British Library or National Archives Network card.

Bags: Bags cannot be brought into the Reading Room. Most items may be stored in lockers which are free of charge - the keys are available from the enquiry desk. Please note that there are no facilities to store overly large items or bags.

Personal photography: Readers may photograph certain materials within the Reading Rooms of the British Architectural Library, free of charge and for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study only. More information on personal photography is available.

Reprographic services: Reprographic services are available for those who are unable to visit the Reading Rooms in person and for those who require high quality images of items in the collection.

Personal equipment: Visitors can only use pencil or laptops to make notes near items from the Early Imprints Collection of rare books. The use of ink or pens is not allowed near these items.

Access to material: Most material from this collection is available either on open shelves or is retrievable on request if stored in non-public areas. Only RIBA members may borrow books from the Loan Library.

Access to offsite material (15 April 2013 - April 2014): Due to work to build a new exhibition gallery at 66 Portland Place, some items from this collection have been moved and will be available by appointment only or will not be accessible.  

Location or shelfmark (indicated in the online catalogue) Current access
77 Portland Place, BASEMENT, BOX, Pamphlet or AV Advanced appointment
SP-COLL Special request
HANDLEY-READ No access

Books and periodicals that require an advanced appointment are available to visitors via the Reading Room (66 Portland Place), but all requests must be received before any visit with the following length of notice:

  • For visits on Tuesday or Wednesday – by 12 noon on the Monday prior to your visit
  • For visits on Friday or Saturday morning – by 12 noon on the Thursday prior to your visit

To consult these items please fill in the 'Closed Access Request form' and email the completed form to info@riba.org . Please mark your email 'Closed Access Request'.

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.  

 

Photographs Collection

Until late spring 2014 there will be reduced access to the Photographs Collection

Location: Reading Room, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London

Entry: Entry is free. For access to the Reading Room, members of the RIBA must bring their RIBA membership card. Access to non-RIBA members is on production of proof of identity, which must contain a photograph, e.g. passport, driving licence, student university ID, British Library or National Archives Network card. 

Bags: Bags cannot be brought into the Reading Room. Most items may be stored in lockers which are free of charge - the keys are available from the enquiry desk. Please note that there are no facilities to store overly large items or bags. 

Personal photography: Photographing material from the Photographs Collection is generally not allowed. More information on personal photography is available.

Access to material: Material from this collection is fetched from an environmentally-controlled store before being made available to users on arrival. To view material it is therefore essential that an appointment is made by contacting the team at the Photographs Collection on +44 (0)20 7307 3710/3684 (phone line open Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5.30pm) or by emailing Photo@riba.org before any visit. 

 

Drawings and Archives Collections

Allowed for most items: New access procedures. Advanced booking essential for all visits to the RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections and Study Rooms at the V&A.

Location: RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Entry: Entry to the Study Rooms is free. An appointment must be booked before any visit.

Bags: Visitors can bring their coats and bags with them to the Study Rooms where coat racks and lockers will be available.

Personal photography: Readers may photograph certain materials within the Reading Rooms of the British Architectural Library, free of charge and for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study only. More information on personal photography is available.

Reprographic services: Reprographic services are available for those who are unable to visit the Reading Rooms in person and for those who require high quality images of items in the collection.

Access to material: Material from these collections are held in stores and collected for visitors. Request material in advance and book an appointment by telephoning the Study Rooms on +44 (0)20 7307 3708 (phone line open Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm) or by emailing drawings&archives@riba.org .

Visitors can bring pencils, paper and laptop computers to make notes (ink is not allowed). 

Readers are asked to read and sign the reader information form before requesting to view any material from the Drawings and Archives Collections.

 

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