Admission policies

Entry to all the British Architectural Library's sites and collections is free and everyone is welcome. The admission requirements will vary depending on which location or collection you wish to visit. Use the online catalogue to see what we have and where items are located. 

  

Some collection items temporarily unavailable in 2015

Due to building work, some items from our collections (including our archives, books, drawings, journals and photographs) have been moved and are currently unavailable. We hope to restore full access by September 2015. Please check this page for more details and updates or contact us if you have any queries.

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and co-operation during this period.

  

Display of books from the RIBA's collections
Display of books from the RIBA's collections

Books and Periodicals Collections

(includes the audiovisual material)

  

Opening times

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 the general public 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. 

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.

Material temporarily unavailable: Due to building work, some items from this collection have been moved and will not be accessible until late spring/early summer 2015. Please check our collections closure page for more details. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and co-operation during this period. 

  

Display of photographic material from the RIBA's collections
Display of photographic material from the RIBA's collections

Robert elwall Photographs Collection

The Photographs Collection is temporarily closed to researchers. We hope to reopen in September 2015

Please check our collections closure page for more details and updates. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and co-operation during this period.  

  

Display of drawings from the RIBA's collections
Display of drawings from the RIBA's collections

Drawings and Archives Collections

 

Opening times

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

Entry: Entry to the Study Rooms is free, but an appointment must be booked in advance by telephoning the Study Rooms on +44 (0)20 7307 3708 (phone line open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 5pm) or by emailing  drawings&archives@riba.org .  

Procedure for the visiting the Study Rooms, V&A

Arrival

Once an appointment has been arranged, researchers will be collected and escorted into the building at 10.15am and 2.15pm. There will be a morning or afternoon appointment (with the opportunity to work through the whole day). The Meeting Point for the collections is the landing space outside the National Art Library, level 3. Researchers can bring their coats and bags with them to the Study Rooms where coat racks and lockers will be available. Please note, there is 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.

Lunch breaks and leaving

The Study Rooms will close for lunch between 1pm and 2.15pm. Visitors will be escorted out at 1pm and those who have booked an all-day session can join the afternoon collection at 2.15pm to be escorted back in. The Study Rooms close at 5pm. If you need to leave the Study Rooms outside of these times, please let us know on the day and we can arrange for you to be escorted back to the public areas of the museum.

Restrictions

There will be several retrieval times on the day for 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.

Noise

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 our information on admissions or phoning the Study Rooms on +44 (0)20 7307 3708.

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

PDF Reader information form 
File size: 123 kB

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

Access to material: Materials from the Drawings and Archives Collections are held in stores both at the V&A and off-site at our outstore. V&A materials should be requested at least a day in advance and you can book an appointment by telephoning the Study Rooms on +44 (0)20 7307 3708 (phone line open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm) or by emailing drawings&archives@riba.org .Visitors can bring pencils, paper and laptop computers to make notes (ink is not allowed). 

Material temporarily unavailable: Due to building work, some items from this collection have been moved and will not be accessible until September 2015. Please check our collections closure page for more details. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and co-operation during this period. 

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