Visiting the archive

Anyone with a research query is welcome to visit the Ri Archive reading room at 21 Albemarle Street.

  • Man reading in archive room
    Credit: Royal Institution

Opening hours

The reading room is open to readers by appointment:

Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.
The archive is closed on bank holidays.

The archives can get very busy, please give us as much notice as possible when making an appointment so we can book you in.

If you wish to visit the archives please read the terms and conditions before downloading and completing an appointment form.

If you have any further queries please contact

Please Note: the reading room will be closed throughout December each year, opening again in January after the New Year.


The reading room is situated on the lower ground floor and is accessible by lift. A Wi-Fi connection is available for those wishing to work on laptops. Supports for books and magnifying glasses are available on request.

Food and drink are not permitted in the reading room but refreshments are available in the café.

The Ri is conveniently located by many major travel routes in London.

View our location.

Copying service

Readers are not permitted to scan or photograph documents themselves, however you can order copies for personal research through the archive: 

View prices and find out more

Images for publication can be found at Bridgeman Art Library or the Science Photo Library.

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