In addition to its extensive galleries, the Victoria and Albert Museum has the National Art Library, the Archives and Library Reading Room at Blythe House, and a number of other study rooms where additional material from the collections can be viewed
The Prints & Drawings study room
Prints & Drawings study room,
Level 4, Henry Cole Wing, V&A
Tel:+44(0)20 7942 2563
Fax:+44(0)20 7942 2410
Contact us online
Opening times until end December 2013
The rooms are open 10.00-17.00, Tuesday to Saturday.
Last requests to view material from the V&A Prints & Drawings collection should be submitted by 16.00.
Closed from 17.00 Saturday 21 December
Temporary Closure January to March 2014
Due to the need to undertake emergency repair work on our storage facilities the Prints & Drawings Study Room service will be completely suspended following the Christmas closure period.
Please accept our apologies for this disruption. However, it is essential that we carry out this work now to enable us to maintain a viable service in the future.
We will re-open in mid-March 2014 on an appointment only basis, Tuesday to Friday. These access restrictions arise from a major project to create a new entrance and exhibition gallery on Exhibition Road.
Learn more about the Exhibition Road Building Project
Access and facilities for visitors with disabilities
The following guide describes access arrangements and services and facilities for disabled visitors to the Prints & Drawings Study Room, the National Art Library and the Blythe House Reading Room, Olympia.
What is the Prints & Drawings study room?
The Prints & Drawings Study Room is where you can study and enjoy the V&A's wonderful collections of prints, drawings, paintings and photographs.
For further details and to search the online catalogue of objects that you can view in the Prints & Drawings Study Room, please see the Study Room Catalogues.
What can be seen in the Prints & Drawings study room?
You have access to 750,000 objects, including designs for all the arts, watercolours, old master drawings, photographs, commercial graphics, greeting cards, playing cards, fashion plates, posters and wallpapers ... and much more.
A unique feature is a double-sided clock entitled Frozen Sky 2004, designed by the artists Langlands & Bell, and donated by Robert Breckman in memory of his wife Julie. It is lettered with well-known airport codes of the world and revolves in perpetual motion according to Greenwich Mean Time.
What does the Prints and Drawings study room offer?
- an opportunity to study and enjoy great works of art at first hand
- a quiet, comfortable environment where you can look at objects at your leisure
- help from staff if you are unsure of how to conduct your search
- a small library of reference books
- an online catalogue of most of the prints, drawings, paintings and photographs in the Museum's collections
- access to a range of electronic resources, including general internet searching and online databases
- camera stands to aid photography for study purposes
- a magnificent architectural space, with rooftop views
Who can use the Prints & Drawings study room?
- Individuals: The Study Room is freely available to adults and children alike and there is no restriction on admission.
- Groups: Groups are always welcome but an appointment must be made in advance. Please contact:
Tel:+44(0)20 7942 2211, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I use the Prints & Drawings study room?
Please leave your coat and bags in the cloakroom on Level O. You will be given a clear plastic bag to bring anything you need to have with you in the Study Room. Please don't bring any food, drink, chewing gum, ballpoint pens or newspapers with you as these are harmful to the objects.
Once in the Study Room, you look up the objects you want to see on our online catalogue and then order them using the slips provided. Staff will then go and retrieve the material for you. Although there is no limit to the number of items you may order, we put through requests four at a time to manage the amount of material in the Study Room.
An Opinions Service is run in the Prints & Drawings Study Room on the first Tuesday of every month,14.30-17.00. V&A staff will give opinions (but not valuations) on visitors' own prints, drawings, portrait miniatures, photographs, watercolours and works believed to be by John Constable.
RIBA Architecture study room, Level 4, V&A
Tel: +44(0)20 7942 2043 or +44(0)20 7307 3708
The V&A is working in partnership with the RIBA to provide access to the RIBA's outstanding collection of architectural drawings and manuscripts in the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms, housed alongside the V&A's Prints & Drawings Study Room. An appointment system operates for the RIBA material.
The collections available comprise:
- the RIBA's collection of drawings and archives
- the V&A's collection of drawings, photographs and prints
The rooms are open Tuesday - Friday, 10.00-17.00.
Planned closures during 2013Reduced access to the Drawings and Archives Collections
2 November - 20 December 2013
Intending visitors are advised that between Saturday 2 November and Friday 20 December 2013 (dates inclusive), access to the Drawings Collection will be limited to items with reference numbers beginning SKB, VOS, DR1-22 or DR74-166 (check our *online catalogue* for details of reference numbers for collection items). There will also be no access to most of the RIBA's administrative archives during this period. Our Manuscript Collections will be available as usual and the Study Rooms operate normal opening hours until 5pm 20 December 2013. The restrictions are due to a serious failure of the rolling racking in one of our stores which requires its entire contents to be removed before urgent repair work can proceed.
Temporary closure of the Drawings and Archives Collections and Study Rooms
21 December 2013 - early March 2014
From 21st December 2013 until early March 2014, we regret that the Study Rooms will be closed and there will be no access to any of the Drawings and Archives Collections, including manuscripts. We apologise for the disruption to services and ask you to bear with us while these essential maintenance works are undertaken. If you have any queries about access to the collections, please check this page for the most up-to-date information.
Alternatively, telephone +44 (0)20 7307 3708 or email email@example.com
British Architectural Library at the RIBA
The British Architectural Library is based at the Riba , 66 Portland Place, London. It includes the RIBA Photographs Collection. For further details please see the RIBA website.
South & South-East Asia study room
The reserve collection of South and South-East Asian textiles currently in the SSEA Study Room will be moving to the new Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion at Blythe Road. For this reason, appointments to view these textiles will be suspended from October 2011 until after the opening of the new Centre in October 2013.
Appointments to view the reserve collection of paintings from South and South-East Asia are also suspended until January 2014.
For further details or to make an appointment: +44(0)20 7942 2322 / 2323 / 2334
Ceramics study room
Most objects in the visible storage displays in the Ceramics Study Galleries (Rooms 136 to 139 on Level 6), can be viewed close up in the Ceramics Study Room off Room 139. This service is available by appointment only, from Monday to Friday each week between 10am and 12pm and between 2pm and 4pm.
Please note that appointments are subject to availability and the suitability of the objects to be shown in this manner.
For further details or to make an appointment:
+44(0)20 7942 2073 (Western Ceramics) or +44(0)20 7942 2244 (Asian Ceramics)
Textiles study rooms
The Textiles study rooms have closed as part of the preparations for the new Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion.
For further information telephone +44(0)20 7942 2682 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Archive & Library Study Room, Blythe House
The Archive & Library Study Room, Blythe House serves the Archive of Art and Design, the V&A Archive, the V&A Theatre and Performance Collections and the Beatrix Potter Collections.
Tuesday to Friday, from 10.00 to 16.30, by appointment only (Theatre & Performance Collections from 10.15).
For further information visit our Archives page
Planned Closures during 2013
Closed from 16.30 Friday 20 December
Re-opening at 10.00 on Thursday 2 January 2014
Study rooms at other organisations
- The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA), Middlesex University
Wallpapers, textiles, designs, books and ephemera, including the Silver Studio collection
- Ashmolean Museum Western art print room
The Print Room of the Department of Western Art houses one of the finest collections in Britain of European graphic arts from the fifteenth century to the present day. It is open to members of the public, students and visiting scholars alike for the study and enjoyment of drawings and prints.
- Ashmolean Museum Eastern art study centre
The Jameel Centre for the Study of Eastern Art at the Asholean Museum provides access to the Eastern Art reserve collections.
- Whitworth Gallery study rooms and stores
Study rooms and stores at the University of Manchester's Whitworth Gallery.
- The Barber Institute of Fine Arts Study Room
The Barber Insitute of Fine Arts has over 1,000 prints and drawings, covering six centuries of the draughtsman’s and printmaker’s art.
- Print Room - Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
The Print Room at the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery is home to 30,000 prints, drawings and watercolours.
- Sir John Soane's Museum Research Library
How to make an appointment to consult books, drawings or archives in the Sir John Soane's Museum Research Library.
- Access to Archives at Guildhall Library
Arrangements for access to former Guildhall Library Manuscripts Collections.
- British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings
The Department of Prints and Drawings contains the national collection of Western prints and drawings, in the same way as the National Gallery and Tate hold the national collection of paintings.
- UCL Art Collections
UCL Art Collections holds over 10,000 fine art objects, including prize-winning student work from the Slade School of Fine Art, prints and drawings by Old Master artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt, Turner and Constable, and sculpture models by the Neo-Classical artist John Flaxman.