The RIBA Library

Everyone is welcome to visit the British Architectural Library, learn from our collections and use our services.

Search or visit our collection of four million items, one of the top architectural collections in the world and the finest in Europe. Most material from this collection is available either on open shelves or is retrievable on request if stored in non-public areas.

We also operate an enquiry and research service, available to all RIBA members and the public, to help you find what you’re looking for.


Free Entry
Free entry for all. Please bring photo ID or your RIBA membership card.
Opening Hours

Planned closures (all dates inclusive)

- Easter: Thursday 13 to Monday 17 April 2017.
- May Bank Holiday: Saturday 30 April to Monday 1 May 2017.

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
Public Information Line
Public Information Line:
+44 (0)20 7307 3882
line open Monday - Friday, 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm
Members Information Line
Members Information Line:
+44 (0)20 7307 3600
line open Monday - Friday, 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm
Email enquiries

Books & Periodicals Books & Periodicals

Our collection of 150,000 books has been collected from all over the world. Over 100 new books are added to the our collections every month, ensuring that our Library remains a world-class public resource for architectural research.

The collection covers a wide range of architectural subjects, including:

  • architectural law and practice
  • history
  • building types, such as churches, galleries and houses
  • guides to the architecture of specific countries or regions
  • sustainability
  • town planning

Most books can be found on open shelves or rolling stacks. Visitors can browse the shelves (books are usually grouped by topic) or check the online catalogue for the details and locations of specific titles.

Drawings & Archives Drawings & Archives

Search over 90,000 images on RIBApix.

Browse Drawings & Archives on RIBApix

This outstanding body of primary source material is located in our Study Rooms at the V&A as part of our architecture partnership with them. 

Restricted access until July 2017:

Access procedures for the RIBA Study Rooms at the V&A have changed. Drop-in appointments are no longer possible and access is by advance booking only for research appointments at 10.15 and 14.15 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is due to public access restrictions to the Henry Cole Wing caused by the construction of the new Exhibition Road Gallery at the V&A which will continue until July 2017.


Call Us
+44 (0)20 7307 3708
line open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am - 5pm
Find Us
Victoria and Albert Museum, London SW7 2RL

Photographs Photographs

Search over 90,000 images on RIBApix.

Browse Photographs on RIBApix

As the largest holding of architectural photographs in the world, our Robert Elwall Photographs Collection continues to grow and its material has been used in exhibitions at the RIBA and other institutions and galleries. This collection is available from our Library's Reading Room by appointment.


Call Us
+44 (0)20 7307 3710 / 3684
line open Monday to Friday from 9.30am - 5.30pm
Find Us
66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

Your Visit To The Library Your Visit To The Library

The Royal Institute of British Architects66 Portland Place,London, W1B 1AD

For books, periodicals, and photographs, the library is located on the third floor. Lift access is available from the ground floor.

Food and drink are not permitted in the library. Storage lockers are available, and a cafe is located on the ground floor of 66 Portland Place.

Free WiFi
Feel free to bring your own laptop or mobile device
Free lockers
Free lockers
Bags are not allowed in the Reading Room. Secure storage is available.
  • Wheelchair and step-free access
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Portable induction loops and screen reader available
Personal photography policy
Personal photography policy
Photographs may be taken for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study. More information.
Photocopiers and scanners
Photocopiers and scanners
Scans can be saved on a USB memory stick. Users can bring their own or purchase one from Library staff. Photocopying cards can be purchased from machines located in the Reading Room.

Unable to visit in person? Search our catalogue, then order any photocopies you need remotely using this form. (charges apply, discounts for RIBA Members).

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