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The RIBA Architecture Study Rooms

Architectural frieze drawing

Home to our Drawings and Archives

Search and locate catalogued material across our collections

Visit the RIBA Library and Collections

Subject to government guidelines, we are currently open as follows:

  • the RIBA Library is open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am to 5pm. There is no need to book ahead to access books and journals, but to book Photographs Collections appointments please email photo@riba.org. To keep updated on evolving Library guidelines, please review the Information for Researchers (PDF) document
  • the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms at the Victoria & Albert Museum are open on Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment only. Please email drawingsandarchives@riba.org to arrange an appointment 
  • the V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery (Room 128) at the Victoria & Albert Museum is open to the public during museum opening times  

The following sites and services are closed for the time being. Please check back soon for the latest announcements.

  • RIBA North in Liverpool, including the galleries, café and shop

The RIBA Architecture Study Rooms

Our study rooms at the Victoria & Albert Museum offer access to the drawings, archives, manuscripts, objects, and artefacts in the RIBA Collections, with everything from original 15th century drawings to new designs by practicing architects. Alongside our world class collections you'll find knowledgeable staff and quiet study facilities, all housed within the world's leading museum of art and design.

Admission

Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Please book an appointment and complete a reader registration form upon arrival.

The easiest route to the study rooms is via the Exhibition Road entrance to the V&A. Go through the shop and take the lift to the third floor. 

Food and drinks are not permitted in the study rooms and bags must be left in the free lockers provided.

Access to materials

Please request the materials you wish to consult in advance of your visit so that we can retrieve them for you. Due to the size of our collections, some items are housed offsite. Depending on the volume and condition of the material required, it may be possible to arrange access to our offsite store by prior appointment.

Accessibility

Step-free access is available via the Exhibition Road entrance to the V&A and by lift to the third floor. Guide dogs are welcome.  

Revisiting the Collections

Our items have been collected and catalogued over almost two centuries, with some items dating back to the 15th century. Some materials and descriptions contain outdated and offensive language or need further contextualising. We are working to address this and to ensure that our collections and descriptions are appropriate to our audiences today. For questions or comments, please contact us.

Photography and reprographics

Photography is permitted for most of the items in the collection for the purpose of non-commercial research or private study. Please read our photography policy before visiting.  

We also offer a digitisation-on-demand service for drawings, manuscripts, photographs and material too fragile to be copied. Please contact us for further information about our reprographics services.

Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available to readers.

Image: 1860 sketched elevation for a decorative frieze for the South Kensington Museum (V&A), RIBA Collections. 

Contact us

Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Start your search

Search catalogued material across our collections through the online catalogue, or browse digitised material through our online image library.

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