Conditions of use of the V&A Study Rooms

In order to protect the collections and to help future researchers, all users of the National Art Library, the Prints & Drawings Study Room and the Archive and Library Study Room at Blythe House must abide by the following conditions of use:

Use, security and protection of the collections

  • All collection items (e.g. books, manuscripts, archives, prints, etc.) are for use within the study room only. You are responsible for all materials issued to you until they are returned. Electronic versions of collection items will be issued in preference to the hard copy where available. During peak periods in the National Art Library, seating priority will be given to readers using Library collections.
  • All bags, including laptop bags and sleeves, handbags, briefcases and parcels must be left in the cloakrooms located at the main entrances on the ground floor of the V&A (for National Art Library and Prints & Drawings Study Room) or lockers provided at Blythe House (for Archive and Library Study Room). Transparent carrier bags are available in the cloakrooms for transporting working materials to the study rooms if required. All personal belongings taken in and out of the study rooms are subject to inspection.
  • The collections must not be damaged or defaced in any way. Only pencils or laptops may be used in the study rooms. Tracing is not allowed. Do not bring into the study rooms the following items: pens, marker pens, crayons, paints, correction fluid, glue, ink, scissors, staplers, post-it notes or any substance or equipment which might damage items from the collection.
  • Please treat all the material with great care. Ask a member of staff if you need help or advice in handling any item or cutting open the pages of a book, and please bring any existing damage to our attention. Printed guidelines on handling different types of material are available in the study rooms.
  • Food and drink are not permitted, including bottles of water, chewing gum and cough sweets.

Copying from the collections

  • Copying from the collections must comply with current UK copyright legislation.
  • Information obtained from our unpublished collections relating to living individuals must be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 2018.
  • The use of personal copying equipment such as portable scanners is not permitted. The Library does not provide a hard copy printing service; users are advised to bring a USB stick for saving electronic files. Photography (with own equipment, no flash) is permitted for non-commercial research only. Artificial lighting may be used in the areas allocated for this purpose. Photographs required for publication must be obtained from V&A Images.

A pleasant study environment for all

  • Please be considerate towards other users. Brief conversations are permitted but noise should be kept to a minimum. Users of audio equipment should take special care not to disturb other users. Mobile phones must be turned to silent mode.
  • Staff are trained to be courteous and helpful. Please treat everyone with courtesy and respect. Anyone who behaves in an inappropriate manner towards staff or other users, including swearing, raising their voice or making unwanted physical contact, will be asked to leave. Closed circuit television is in operation.
  • If you are not happy with any aspect of our service and would like to comment, you can fill in a comments form available from the study rooms, or contact us:
Header image:

(Detail), Book, A Book of Verse by William Morris, 1870, London, England. Museum no. MSL/1953/131. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London