Our fully searchable website currently features 8000 images representative of the broad scope of the main collection, which holds approximately 150,000 slides of historical and contemporary architecture. For educational use, the website includes low-resolution watermarked images available for downloading (along with comprehensive information about each building). The Photo Library also operates on a commercial basis, loaning images for publication in books and journals worldwide. Please follow the ordering instructions or contact us directly. Standard fees apply.
Lecture and Film Collection
The Photo Library holds the AA film collection – an important collection of lectures, conferences, symposia and other events presented at the AA. Dating back to the mid 1970s the archive includes titles by many of the leading architects, artists, historians, and theorists of the last 40 years – including AA alumni such as Cedric Price, Peter Cook, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel.
The film archive is for the use of AA students, staff and members only. Students and staff also have access to over 500 feature films and documentaries. One item per day can be borrowed overnight during the week (two films can be borrowed on Fridays for return on the following Monday).
The AA Cinema opened in 2009, equipped with 20 cinema seats and surround-sound. The Cinema is bookable for unit and student screenings. The AA Film Club shows programmes every week during term time.
Schoolwork is arranged by unit or programme for each academic year, and contains approximately 25,000 images of individual student projects from the 1900s to present day, plus images of the annual Projects Review exhibition.
School Life Collection
AA School Life includes images dating back to the 1920s of workshops, presentations, introductions, meetings, previews, reviews, juries, exhibitions, installations, conferences, lectures, seminars, tutorials, charrettes, clusters, picnics, parties, alongside the spontaneous encounters and impromptu events that constitute the daily life of the School. The archive includes numerous images of past and present students, staff and visitors who have crossed the AA’s threshold (and of the various spaces within the premises in Bedford Square and beyond).
The Photo Library holds several valuable collections of architectural images by F R Yerbury, Eric de Maré, Reyner Banham and Robin Evans.
F R Yerbury Collection
F R Yerbury, AA Secretary during the 1920s and 1930s, tirelessly promoted the School in order to establish it as the artistic and social centre of architectural debate. ‘Yerb’, a gifted and prolific photographer, revived the practice of annual excursions for staff and students that had been a regular feature of AA life before the First World War. The photographs he took during these trips exposed the architectural community in the UK to the architects and buildings of the Modern Movement. During visits to France, Holland, Germany, and in particular to Sweden, Yerbury made many important contacts for the AA with other architects and institutions. Throughout these years the Slide Library benefited from his characteristic generosity as a contributing photographer – in 1948 Yerbury donated 3000 of his own negatives with copyright to the AA.
Cards and postcards from the collection are available to buy in the AA Bookshop or via mail order.