The V&A museum have announced a new Photography Centre is planned for opening in 2018, along with an expansion of its current photography collection.
The museum will take over the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection from the Science Museum Group, making the collection of photography at the V&A one of the largest and most important in the world.
The RPS collection will expand the current collection by over 270,000 photographs, 26,000 publications, and 6,000 pieces of camera related equipment.
Part of a two phase FuturePlan project is the development of a new Photography Centre, which will create a new public space for the appreciation and celebration of photography. This new centre is due to open in Autumn 2018 and will be accompanied by a Museum-wide photography festival and new digital resource to make the photographic collection more accessible than ever before.
This new centre will allow the display of a larger number of prints, negatives, technology, books, and archival materials. Events and activities will also be run in the centre. Part two of the expansion plan will include the addition of a teaching and research space, browsing library, and studio and dark room for residential photographers.
Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said: “Photography is set to become one of the defining collections of the 21st century V&A. We have been conserving and interpreting photography since 1852, and we are now delighted to welcome the RPS collection to the Museum. Today, the V&A cares for one of the most important photography collections in the world. We want to share this remarkable resource with audiences and photography enthusiasts on a global scale, both in person and through an unparalleled digital resource.”
The RPS collection is already available for viewing at the V&A Prints & Drawings Study Room.