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Library Catalogue

Although images are constantly being added to our online image database, these form only a small proportion of the many millions we have in stock.

Open to everyone and without charge, the British Architectural Library and its collections and services form the largest and most comprehensive resource in the United Kingdom for research and information on all aspects of architecture. Related subjects such as construction, engineering, landscape architecture, interior design, planning and law are also represented in the collections. With four million items (archives, books, drawings, periodicals and photographs) in a variety of languages and formats, these architectural collections are one of the top three in the world and the finest in Europe.

RIBA Library

Facts about our Library:

  • it was established in 1834 as part of the RIBA
  • it has two public sites, one at the V&A and another at the RIBA's headquarters, 66 Portland Place, London, and access to both is free
  • the RIBA's collections are held in the Library. Current holdings total four million items and this includes over 150,000 books, 2,000 periodical titles, 1 million drawings, 1.5 million archive items and 1.5 million photographs
  • highlights include the world's largest collection of drawings by architect Andrea Palladio, a collection of books dating back to 1478, the photographic archive of the Architectural Press, and a fragment of Sir Christopher Wren's coffin
  • a growing online database of digitised images (numbering over 80,000 by 2014) from the collections are available on RIBApix.
  • in 2004 the collections of the V&A and RIBA came together to form the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership
  • in 2006 the Library was designated as having an Outstanding Collection, recognising the national and international importance of the collections
  • it is a fully accredited museum under the Arts Council's Accreditation Scheme, demonstrating a commitment to managing collections for the enjoyment and benefit of users

Although images are constantly being added to our online image database, these form only a small proportion of the many millions we have in stock. You can find more details of these by visiting the RIBA Library Catalogue or simply Contact us.