Study Rooms

'Frozen Sky', clock in memory of Julie Breckman. Langlands and Bell, 2004

'Frozen Sky' clock in memory of Julie Breckman, Langlands & Bell, 2004

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

By Appointment Only

The Museum has begun a large scale building project to create a new entrance and exhibition space, the Exhibition Road Building Project. The works will directly affect the route to the Prints and Drawings Study Room, so the service is now being offered on an appointment-only basis. Unfortunately there may also be some noise in the Study Rooms due to the proximity of the building works.

Planned Closures for 2014

Easter
Closed from 17.00 Thursday 17th April
Re-opening at 10.00 on Tuesday 22nd April

Summer Bank Holiday & Annual stocktake
Closed from 17.00 Friday 8th August
Re-opening at 10.15 on Tuesday 26th August

Christmas holiday
Closed from 17.00 Tuesday 23rd Dec.
Re-opening at 10.15 on Tuesday 6th Jan. 2015

What is the Prints & Drawings study room?

The Prints and Drawings Study Room is where you can study and enjoy the V&A’s wonderful collections of prints, drawings, paintings and photographs.

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, greetings cards, playing cards, fashion plates, posters and wallpapers… and much more.

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 our leisure
  • help from staff if you are unsure of how to conduct your search
  • a small library of reference books
  • an outline 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

Make an Appointment

Please ring +44(0)207 942 2563 to make your appointment and to discuss what you want to order from the stores.
Appointments are available at 10.15 and 14.15, Tuesday to Friday.
We regret that latecomers will not be admitted.
The Study Room will be closed for lunch from 13.00 to 14.15.

Ordering your Material

You can consult a range of resources to help you identify the items you wish to see. Please use Search the Collections and/or the Study Room Catalogues. You can request five items or boxes of material when you make your appointment.

Your Visit

You will receive confirmation of your appointment by email, which will inform you of where to wait to be escorted to the Study Rooms. The route will involve an approximate 10 minute walk and stairs, so please let us know when you are booking your appointment if you have any mobility issues. Cloakroom facilities are available in the Study Room.

Group Visits

Groups are welcome but an appointment must be made in advance. There is one morning session from 10.30 to 12.30 and one afternoon session from 2.30 to 4.30. Groups are limited to 12 individuals including the tutor. Please contact telephone number +44(0)207 942 2563 or e-mail prints.drawings@vam.ac.uk 

Opinions Service

An Opinions Service is run in the Prints and Drawings Study Room on the first Tuesday of every month. V&A staff will give opinions, but not valuations, on visitors’ own prints, drawings, portrait miniatures, photographs and watercolours.
We do not give opinions on oil paintings other than those believed to be by John Constable.
Please assemble at the Exhibition Road entrance meeting point at 14.30 or 15.30 to be escorted to the Study Room.

RIBA Architecture study room at the V&A

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 and Drawings Study Room.
An appointment system also operates for the RIBA material.
Please telephone +44 (0)20 7307 3708 or e-mail drawings&archives@riba.org for further details.

Planned closures for 2014

Easter

Closed from 17.00 Thursday 17th April 
Re-opening at 10.15 on Tuesday 22nd April

Summer Bank Holiday & Annual stocktake

Closed from 17.00 Friday 8th August
Re-opening at 10.15 on Tuesday 26th August

Christmas holiday

Closed from 17.00 Tuesday 23rd December. 
Re-opening at 10.15 on Tuesday 6th Jan. 2015 

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.

Read more about the Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion

Email: textilesandfashion@vam.ac.uk

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
Email: asia.enquiries@vam.ac.uk

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)
Email: ceramicsstudyroom@vam.ac.uk

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. The Clothworkers’ Centre offers a study room where individuals and small groups of up to three people can study objects of their choice.

Read more about the Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion

For further information telephone +44(0)20 7942 2682 or email: textilesandfashion@vam.ac.uk

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.

Opening times

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

Study rooms at other organisations