The Royal Institute of British Architects British Architectural Library Photographs Collection has taken over the photographic archive of the former Architectural Press following an agreement with The Architects' Journal's publisher, EMAP Construct.
EMAP has donated the collection on the basis that it will be conserved to modern standards and made fully accessible.
The archive comprises c.500,000 prints and negatives commissioned and used by the Press in its publications from 1930 to 1982. These publications include the highly influential magazines, Architectural Review and The Architects' Journal, as well as seminal publications such as F R S Yorke's The Modern House (1937) and J M Richards's
The Functional Tradition in Early Modern Buildings (1958) which was largely illustrated with photographs by Eric de Maré.
Among the highlights of the archive are c 2,000 glass plate negatives taken by Dell and Wainwright, official photographers to the Architectural Review from 1930-1946 whose striking and uncompromising imagery did so much to promote the Modern Movement in Britain; the more informal photographs of journalists such as Ian Nairn which provided visual reinforcement to campaigns for a better environment; and the photographs commissioned for the Architectural Review's notorious Manplan series (1969-1970) from photojournalists such as Ian Berry, Patrick Ward and
Robert Elwall, Curator of the RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection, said,
"We are delighted that EMAP Construct has given us the opportunity to make this internationally important archive accessible to the widest possible public and to provide it with the appropriate standards of conservation that will also allow it be enjoyed by generations to come. Its acquisition confirms the RIBA collection's standing as one of the finest in its subject field anywhere in the world."
Dr Irena Murray, Director of the RIBA British Architectural Library, stressed in turn the remarkable research and education potential of the collection, praising this most recent acquisition as yet another example of the RIBA Trust's commitment to making great architectural collections widely available and known.
EMAP Construct editoral director Paul Finch said:
"We are delighted to have made this substantial contribution to the RIBA's photographic collection, confident in the knowledge that it is in excellent professional hands. We hope this commitment to the RIBA Trust will be echoed elsewhere."