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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

Latest update on visiting the RIBA Library and Drawings and Archives collections

We are delighted to announce that from 2 July 2021, subject to government guidelines, we will begin a phased reopening of 66 Portland Place: 

  • From 2 July, our current exhibition ‘Freestyle: Architectural Adventures in Mass Media’ will reopen on Fridays and Saturdays between 10am – 5pm, by appointment only. To book your tickets, please visit here.
  • From 9 July our Library will reopen on Fridays between 10am – 5pm, by appointment only. Booking instructions can be found here.
  • We regret that the RIBA Drawings and Archives Study Room (based at the V&A) remains closed for the time being. Please check this page regularly for further updates.

Read more about what we're doing to support our members during the pandemic

The following online resources are still available:

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

  • the bookshop and bar at 66 Portland Place, London
  • RIBA North in Liverpool, including the galleries, café and shop
  • the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

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.

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

Visitor information

Admission

Admission is free and open to all, but we highly recommend that you book an appointment in advance. You will be asked to complete a reader registration form on 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.

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.

Contact us

Public information line, open Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm

Members information line, open Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm +44 (0)20 7307 3600

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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