Southbank Centre Archive Studio is situated on Level 2 of Royal Festival Hall. A purpose-built space created by Jonathan Tuckey Design, it makes our archive function visible and our collections accessible for the first time. Visitors are encouraged to get hands-on with the very items that contributed to the 20th century’s finest art, architecture and performances, and to help us tell these incredible stories.
In addition to hosting a programme of displays and events, the Studio is open 10.30am – 1pm on Tuesdays and 2pm – 4.30pm on Wednesdays. Visitors can browse new digital content and key reference sources, including a set of the monthly ‘what’s on’ guides from 1951 to the present day, Hayward Gallery exhibition material and historical photographs, books and articles relating to our venues.
More material is being added as we work through our stored collections and there’s always a knowledgeable and friendly member of staff on hand if you have any questions. We welcome research visits. Most of our collections are stored off-site, so please be in touch a couple of weeks in advance to discuss your research. Please contact us with your enquiry or to make an appointment.
The Archive Studio invites everyone to witness and play an active part in the process of exploring, cataloguing and arranging Southbank Centre’s collections.
We run volunteer sessions each month, during which anyone can drop in and help to organise the collection. Alternatively, sign up to join one of our weekly Archive Collection sessions, or help out from home with our new remote volunteering opportunities.
Southbank Centre has recently completed restoration of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, to preserve and improve these architectural treasures for our audiences. This project was made possible by a £4.9 million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generosity of our supporters. Southbank Centre’s Archive Studio, which focuses on access to all, has been at the heart of this project, and continues to focus on opening up accesss to all, to develop and enrich our extensive archive collections.