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Special Collections

The Royal College of Art holds over 30 separate special collections of distinctive, rare and unique material, including archives, photographic collections, artworks and rare books. 

The special collections housed within the RCA’s Library include the Royal College of Art Archive itself (prospectuses, catalogues, etc.), including a Photographic Record of Student Work; together with Special Collection Books and rare manuscripts in our Other archives and manuscripts

The department also contains the Colour Reference Library: a collection of printed materials devoted to all aspects of colour, from colour psychology to interior design. Containing over 3,000 volumes (including 1,600 books), it is one of the largest collections on this subject in the world.

RCA Special Collections are located on the top floor of the Library in the Common Room Block of the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU. Access is by appointment only. 

For more information on the collections and archives, and for access and visitor information, click here.


+44 (0)20 7590 4234

[email protected]

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