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Special Collections Access, Location and Appointments

RCA Special Collections is located on the top floor of the Library in the Frayling Building of the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU. The collections are open all year round to students, staff and external researchers. For reasons of preservation and security, access is by appointment only. In addition, an increasing number of enquiries can be answered remotely; Special Collections staff can advise.

To make an enquiry, or to book an appointment, please email [email protected] or telephone +44 (0)20 7590 4234.

On arrival, external researchers will need to show a form of identification (e.g. bank card, passport) and sign a disclaimer form regarding copyright, data protection and handling regulations. Bags must be deposited in lockers.

Enquiries about Former Staff and Students 

Enquiries from genealogists or biographers regarding former students and staff at any point in the RCA’s history are welcome, but please be advised that in many cases we can provide only limited personal information, and, in the case of alumni, sometimes no more than confirmation of department and year of graduation (1898 onwards). We do not hold records of students who graduated prior to 1898. Limited amounts of material relating to earlier incarnations of the College may be found at the National Archives and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Copies of Material

Visitors are often allowed to make copies of materials for private study as long as copyright restrictions are observed. Equally, staff can often supply digital copies of materials to researchers working remotely, under the same terms, and are happy to advise.


+44 (0)20 7590 4234

[email protected]

Please note, access to the collections is by appointment only.