Main Library Collections
The Library has a collection of over 70,000 books on the practical and historical aspects of art and design.
A wide range of other subjects are also covered, including philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, travel, cinema, theatre, music, literature and the natural world.
The Library subscribes to over 120 journals and magazines, from Abitare to Vogue. Current copies are held in the Periodicals Room along with up to four years of back issues.
If you require earlier issues, we need 24 hours’ notice to collect them from our storerooms. Please request these items by calling the Library Desk on +44 (0)20 7590 4224.
Videos and DVDs
The RCA Library has an Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence, which allows us to use recordings of broadcasts for non-commercial educational purposes. We record programmes on art, design and other cultural issues, which reflect the curriculum of the College and the interests of our users.
Visitors from other HE institutions which also hold an ERA licence can view recordings from our collection in the RCA Library. We need 24 hours’ notice to collect some of this material from our storerooms. Please request items by calling the Library Desk on +44 (0)20 7590 4224.
Recent recordings are available on DVD, and earlier recordings (pre-2006) are available on VHS.
The Library receives exhibition catalogues from a number of major national and international galleries and museums.
Exhibition catalogues of the work of individual artists working in the fine art field are shelved in the Monographs section. These are arranged and labelled alphabetically by artist’s surname, e.g. M BAC for books on Francis Bacon.
Catalogues of group exhibitions are shelved by subject in the main sequence of books, while smaller catalogues are kept in pamphlet boxes.
The Quick Reference collection, located opposite the Library Desk, includes directories, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, indexes, atlases, and funding and grants directories.
Theses and Dissertations
The Library holds copies of RCA MA History of Design, MPhil and PhD theses. You can search for these on the Library catalogue, under author, subject and series. We also keep Critical and Historical Studies MA dissertations (distinction grades only). Photocopying from theses and dissertations is forbidden; however, note-taking is permitted.
You can find details of all these resources (apart from the MA dissertations) on the Library catalogue. Indexes to dissertations are available at the Library Desk.
The Library subscribes to a number of databases including Art Source, Art and Humanities Full Text, Art Bibliographies Modern and Design and Applied Arts Index. Together these provide access to journal articles and abstracts from a comprehensive range of art, design and humanities journals.
These resources are available from the RCA Library Space page. Access is for all current staff and students using their college username and password.
+44 (0)20 7590 4224
"The Quick Reference collection, located opposite the Library Desk, includes directories, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, indexes, atlases, and funding and grants directories."