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The RIBA Library Reading Room

Photo of reading room

Home to our books, periodicals and photographs

Search and locate catalogued material across our collections

Urgent update about COVID-19

Due to the government’s advice to limit social contact at this time, our public buildings and exhibitions at RIBA 66 Portland Place, London (including the gallery, library, bookshop and bar) and RIBA North, Liverpool are now closed.

In addition, all physical events from the RIBA are now either cancelled or postponed until further notice. If you have booked onto an event, you will receive an email from the event organiser.

Our reading room offers access to the books, periodicals and photographs in the RIBA Collections, with everything from 15th century illustrated texts to the latest architectural journals and photographs from around the world.

Plan your visit

RIBA Library Reading Room
66 Portland Place
London, W1B 1AD

Opening Hours

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10am to 8pm
Wednesday 10am to 5pm
Thursday Closed
Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 10am to 1.30pm
Sunday Closed

Planned Closures 2020

  • Easter - Friday 10 April to Monday 12 April inclusive
  • Early May Bank Holiday - Friday 8 May to Sunday 10 May inclusive
  • Spring Bank Holiday - Saturday 23 May to Monday 26 May inclusive
  • Annual Summer Closure (four weeks) - Saturday 1 August to Monday 31 August inclusive
  • Christmas and New Year holiday - dates to be confirmed

Visitor information

Admission is free and open to all. You will be asked to sign in with a photo ID or RIBA membership card. Food and drink are not permitted in the reading room and bags must be left in the free lockers provided.  

Access to materials
The reading room holds a mix of open and closed access materials, with timed retrievals at 12pm and 3pm. Some recent journals may be offsite at the binders, so please contact us in advance to check availability of these. Access to photographs must be arranged by appointment.

Step-free access is available by lift to the third floor. Guide dogs are welcome.

Photography, reprographics and Wi-Fi
Photography of books and periodicals is permitted for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study. Please read our personal photography policy before visiting.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown we are unable to offer our remote copying service for books and periodicals at the present time. Thank you for your understanding.

Photocopiers, scanners and free Wi-Fi are available.

Loan Library
Around 4,000 books are available for loan by RIBA members, including student members. These books are closed access and can be retrieved on request. We are unable to retrieve loan books on Tuesday evenings or Saturdays.

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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