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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

Urgent update about COVID-19

Due to the government advice to limit social contact at this time, our public buildings at 66 Portland Place and RIBA North, and our study rooms and Architecture Gallery at the V&A are currently closed. You can see some of the RIBA Collections in our online image library.

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. 

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

The safety of our staff and visitors is our highest priority. We look forward to welcoming the public back to our sites when we are safely able to do so, but visitors are advised that this will not be before the end of 2020.  

We are working hard on making our buildings safe so that we can reopen for our staff and visitors in a phased approach. 

While our physical sites are closed, we continue to offer the following library and cultural services:

The following sites and services are currently closed:

  • 66 Portland Place, including the Library, Architecture Gallery, bookshop and bar
  • RIBA North, including the galleries, café and shop
  • The RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, and Architecture Galleries at the V&A
  • The RIBA Collections outstore at the Piper Centre

To keep up to date with our reopening plans, bookmark this page to check for updates, and sign up to our newsletters.

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 1pm and 2pm to 5pm

Members information line, open Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm +44 (0)20 7307 3600

Start your search

Search and locate catalogued material across our collections through the online catalogue.

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