Royal Academy of Arts
About the library
The RA Library holds a comprehensive collection of books and exhibition catalogues on British art, artists and architects, with a particular concentration on the life and practice of past and present Members of the Royal Academy and the history of the institution, its exhibitions and collections.
Holdings include complete runs of the Royal Academy annual (Summer) exhibition catalogues from 1769 to the present, and the loan exhibition catalogues from 1870 to now. The library also holds a special collection of illustrated books, which highlights the contribution of British artists to the illustration and design of the book. The library’s Historic Book collection, comprising some 12,000 volumes published before 1920, reflects the early teaching philosophy of the Academy Schools. It includes rare volumes of engravings reproducing masterpieces from classical to post-Renaissance European art and architecture, and original editions of virtually all the early treatises on art, anatomy, perspective, colour theory and connoisseurship.
The local library catalogue is available online.
British Library inter-library loan codes
For an explanation of these codes, and for more information on arranging inter-library loans, see the inter-library loans page on the British Library website.
Can I see live document availability on Library Hub Discover? No.
Can I obtain items via inter-library loan? Yes - subject to the library's local lending policy. You must request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff for advice on ordering an item.
Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - see the library's website for access details. If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the library in advance, to ensure that they can accommodate you and that the material you need will be available.
Browse all of the Royal Academy of Arts records in Library Hub Discover here.