In 2014, for the first time ever, it will be possible to show original items from the RIBA’s collections in a controlled museum environment. Currently only certain items can be put on public display for extended periods in the RIBA’s headquarters at 66 Portland Place. Once the new exhibition gallery is complete, there will be conditions appropriate to exhibit fragile and unique items from these world-class collections.
The depth and coverage of this material, which include archive items, books, drawings, models, periodicals, and photographs, makes the RIBA’s architectural collections the finest in Europe and one of the top three in the world. Available to all without charge through the British Architectural Library, its four million items attract visitors and researchers from across the UK and abroad. The new purpose-built exhibition space will enhance public access to this unique architectural resource and its educational value.
Between March and May 2013, some of the collections that were stored at 66 Portland Place were moved temporarily to other locations in preparation for building work. These were predominately photographs and books. When they return to the building in 2014, they will once again be available to the public to enjoy in the British Architectural Library’s Art Deco Reading Room, or as part of an exciting new programme of exhibitions and events which will celebrate architecture and mark the opening of the new gallery.
Please check the Library’s revised opening hours and access before your visit. As the work on the gallery takes place, the Library will continue to operate and welcome visitors to its sites at 66 Portland Place and the Victoria and Albert Museum.