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AA Archives: Main Photographic Collections

The AA’s photographic collections consist of c280,000 images in a wide range of formats, including 19thC magic lantern slides, 35mm slides, transparencies, negatives, prints and digital files.

A selection of c40,000 photographs are available on our online catalogue and include outstanding images of historic and contemporary architecture, taken by some of 20thC’s leading photographers, architects and historians, together with scores of AA alumni and members.

AA Work and Life Images

Also available on the online catalogue are a selection of historic photographs of AA student work, events and membership activities, dating back to the late 19thC. These typically include documentation of student drawings and models, photographs of juries, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, parties and the myriad of other encounters and impromptu events that constitute the daily life of the AA.

Complimentary collections of AA student work can be found in the AA Archives (drawings, models and digital files) http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/calmview/ and the AA Library (theses, the AA Collection). http://atlas.aaschool.ac.uk/

Photographers’ Archives

In addition to the core collection, we also hold a number of discrete archives of internationally important photographers. These include:

Ahrends Burton Koralek Collection: Donated to the AA by ABK, this collection documents the practice’s ouevre and includes image of projects under construction as well as completed buildings and photographs of plans. Consists of c7,200 negatives and 35mm slides. This collection is not yet digitised or available online.

Reyner Banham Collection: One of the most influential British architectural critics, academics and writers of the second half of the 20thC. This collection consists of 7,400 35mm slides taken by Evans for use in lectures, books and articles. Around 27% (1,980 images) have been digitised and are available online.

Robin Evans Collection: Important architectural theorist, academic and writer. The collection was put together by Evans to support his own teaching and research and consists of c9,000 35mm slides, 1.5% of which are available online.

Eric De Maré Collection: Described in his obituary in the Guardian as the finest UK architectural photographer of the mid 20th Century. The collection consists of 3,905 negatives, of which c3.6% are digitised and available online.

Erno Goldfinger Collection: One of most important modernists working in the UK from the 1930s-70s, Goldfinger’s collection of slides were taken by himself, documenting many of his own buildings, including periods spent living in them. The collection consists of 1,440 35mm slides, of which c4% are available online.

Eric Jarrett Collection: Member of the AA teaching staff from the 1920s-50, his photographs were published in numerous AA and external publications. The collection consists of 1,060 negatives and c180 prints, 33% of the images are digitised and available online.

Denys Lasdun Collection: Collection of c1390 prints of photographs commissioned by this internationally important Brutalist practice, presumably to document and publicise their work. This collection is not yet available online.

Frank Yerbury Collection: One of the UK’s most influential architectural photographers of the 1920s and 30s - AA Company Secretary and founder of the Building Centre. The collection contains c3,950 negatives and transparencies, together with c1,300 prints. Approximately 43% of the collection is digitised and available online.

Audio Visual Collections

The AA Archives also holds several hundred films of historic lectures, conferences, symposia and other events held at the AA since the late 1960s, 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 and Zaha Hadid.

AA Students and staff also have access to a library of 1,782 feature films and documentaries, for educational use. These are held in the Research Collections Room in the basement of No. 32 Bedford Square and items can be borrowed overnight during the week (two films can be borrowed on Fridays for return on the following Monday). The Research Collections Room also is available as a bookable space for screenings by students and staff.

The Photo Library also operates on a commercial basis, loaning images for publication in books and journals worldwide. Commercial users please contact us directly, standard fees apply.

Membership

Researchers who would like to access non-digitised materials or watch and borrow lecture DVDs need to be registered as AA Members. You can become an AA Member from as little as £30 for two-weeks or £60 for a year. For more details and a list of membership benefits please contact the Membership Office on 020 7887 4076 or membership@aaschool.ac.uk, or you can join online at http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/members.