Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Access to the Library for External Users

The Library is a resource primarily intended for RCA students, staff and researchers. However, various schemes allow access to different types of external user. The following provides general information for Library visitors. 

There are different access arrangements for the special collections



Alumni are encouraged to register with AlumniRCA, through which they can obtain a Library access card. This currently entitles them to reference-use of print resources only. 

See AlumniRCA for details of how to register and obtain your access card.

Imperial College Students and Staff

Imperial College students and staff can join and use the RCA Library (provided they are already registered with Imperial College Library). They have borrowing rights to print resources only. 

To access the RCA Library, a form must be completed and signed by a member of staff at Imperial College Library.

National Film and Television School (NFTS) Students

On application, RCA Security will provide NFTS students with a restricted security pass, which will allow them to access the RCA Library. NFTS students have borrowing rights to print resources only. 

They should phone RCA Security on +44 (0)20 7590 4177 one day in advance of their proposed visit.


SCONUL Access is a co-operative venture between most of the higher education libraries of the UK and Ireland. Students, researchers and staff from other institutions participating in the scheme should enquire at their own institution about obtaining a SCONUL Access card, which gives them access to the RCA Library and allows them to borrow print resources. 

An appointment is necessary. Telephone the Library on +44 (0)20 7590 4224 or email [email protected] 

At your visit please bring proof of ID from your home institution, as well as the SCONUL card itself.

M25 Access

Researchers and staff from a small number of institutions not included in the SCONUL Access scheme can gain access via the M25 Access scheme. An M25 access card should first be obtained from the home institution. Card holders have access to the RCA Library and borrowing rights to print resources only. 

An appointment is necessary. Telephone the Library on +44 (0)20 7590 4224 or email [email protected] 

At your visit please bring proof of ID from your home institution, as well as the M25 card itself.

Other Visitor Arrangements

The Library has arrangements to cover visits from individuals not covered by one of the schemes.

Students and staff from the English National Ballet School, Royal College of Music and other Higher Education institutions, and staff from the Victoria and Albert Museum can access the RCA Library by appointment. They are allowed reference-use of print resources only.

Telephone the Library on +44 (0)20 7590 4224 or email [email protected] 

Bring proof of ID from your home institution (accredited student, contracted member of staff).

Other individuals are admitted on a discretionary basis, following written or email application to the Library Manager at [email protected] stating the reason for their visit, topic of research – in particular their unique need to access the RCA collections – and preferred date(s) of visit.


Usually, all visits are by prior appointment only and preferably between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. The maximum number of visitors on any one day is four. On Saturdays the maximum is two visitors. A visitor who arrives without a prior appointment may sometimes be admitted at the discretion of the Library Manager, providing that the maximum number of visitors for that day has not been reached.

Visitors should telephone the Library on +44 (0)20 7590 4224 or email [email protected] to confirm their appointment at least two days before the proposed visit.

Visitors must always bring proof of identity. Institutional visitors should bring their institutional identity card and other visitors should bring proof of their name and current address (e.g. a recently received gas, electricity or phone bill.) There is a visitors book that all visitors will be required to sign.

All external users are required to abide by the Library Users' Agreement


Main Library
+44 (0)20 7590 4224
[email protected]

RCA Security
+44 (0)20 7590 4177