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James Bunstone Bunning, The Coal Exchange, Plaster model, about 1847, London, © RIBA Library Drawings Collection

James Bunstone Bunning, The Coal Exchange, Plaster model, about 1847, London, © RIBA Library Drawings Collection

Discover the collections of the V&A and the RIBA; together they form the world's most comprehensive architectural resource.

The RIBA collections include

  • over 1 million drawings
  • 1.5 million archives including architectural diaries, travel journals, letters, notebooks, essays, papers and office archives
  • over 1.5 million photographs of architecture worldwide, housed at the RIBA

The V&A collections include magnificent large scale architectural objects, including:

  • the eighteenth century Norfolk House Music Room
  • a colonnade from the fort at Agra
  • casts of antique and medieval building details
  • prints and drawings

In addition to the collection of architectural drawings, there are designs for interior decoration, textiles, furniture and other objects relating to interiors.

Access

You can access the collections in a number of ways - by visiting exhibitions, study rooms and libraries, and by using the extensive resources of the V&A and RIBA websites.

Exhibitions

You can view the collections on display at

  • the new Architecture gallery at the V&A, including the temporary gallery
  • occasional exhibitions at the RIBA

Libraries

The RIBA British Architectural Library is the largest and most comprehensive resource in the United Kingdom for research and information on all aspects of architecture. It is one of the finest collections of architectural material in the world and comprises:

  • Printed books
  • Periodicals
  • Drawings
  • The RIBA Photographs Collection
  • Archives

The collections are international in scope and cover a wide range of subjects, from prehistory to the present. In addition to architectural theory, practice and history there is material on allied subjects such as building and construction, civil engineering, structural engineering, landscape architecture, interior design and decoration, the decorative arts, town and country planning, and construction law.

Admission to the RIBA British Architectural Library is free, please bring in photographic I.D. such as a passport or driving licence.

Note that the Photographs, Books and Periodicals Collections of the RIBA are housed at the British Architectural Library, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Further information on RIBA Library admission policies, locations and opening hours

Online resources

You can find out more about the collections of the RIBA and the V&A online via the following links:

Loans and licences:

RIBA collections
Items from the RIBA collections may be borrowed by institutions for temporary exhibitions, and images may be used for commercial purposes.

Borrowing

For information about borrowing objects for exhibitions, contact the appropriate curator:

The Curator of Drawings Collection: Tel +44 (0) 20 7307 3698
The Archivist: Tel +44 (0) 20 7307 3615
Email: drawings&archives@inst.riba.org

RIBA British Architectural Library Drawings and Archives Collections
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London
SW7 2RL

Further information about borrowing items from the collections of the RIBA

For information about licences for the use of images, contact the Photographs Collection
Tel: +44 (0)20 7307 3627 /3684 /3642 (phone line open Monday–Friday, 9.30–17.30)