Visitor information

Students with scores outside the RCM Library
The library is open to all current members of the RCM, and welcomes researchers who may use it for reference only.

Opening hours throughout the year

Opening hours vary at different times of year, especially around public holidays, but are normally as follows:

Term time opening hours

  • Monday–Thursday: 9am–7pm
  • Friday: 9am–5.30pm
  • Saturday: 9am-2pm (RCM Junior Department days - access for college members only)

Last issues and returns are 15 minutes before closing time.

Vacation opening hours

The RCM summer term break extends from Monday, 8 July - Friday, 13 September. The Library will be open each Tuesday - Friday from 11am - 5pm during this time. 

Last issues and returns are 15 minutes before closing time.

Using the library


Only current members of the RCM may borrow from the library. Students may borrow up to 15 items and Junior Department students up to 4 items. Loans will only be issued on production of a current RCM ID card bearing the borrower’s photograph.


The library subscribes to many e-resources, including e-journals, e-books and databases. Some are listed in the online catalogue but all e-resources are restricted to current members of the RCM only.

External researchers

The library welcomes external researchers during our normal opening hours. On your first visit, we shall ask you to sign our visitors' book and shall need to see photographic proof of ID before you consult our collections. We suggest you contact us in advance to make sure the reading room is available and we have sufficient staff to help you.

All manuscripts, early printed music and books, journals, programmes and archives should be returned by 6pm, or 30 minutes before the library closes, whichever is earlier.


No large bags or instruments may be taken into the library, these can be left in lockers and baggage racks. Any small bags which are brought into the library are subject to checks by staff.


There are no photocopying facilities for visitors' use.

Copying & photography

The library offers a copying service for material from its special collections.  If a work or edition is in copyright we will need the permission of the copyright holder before making any copies.  Please direct enquiries about this service to We reserve the right to charge for this service.

Scans of non-copyright material from our collections are uploaded to the Internet Archive:  Internet Archive Search ; Royal College of Music. Links to these scans can be found on our library catalogue. 

We do allow researchers to photograph some items. Those intending to do so should first enquire of library staff as to the suitability of the material concerned.

All copies are for private study or research only. Separate permission will need to be sought for any publication of the material concerned.

Take down policy

The RCM Library catalogue includes images of items in the collection. Every effort has been made to ensure we have not included any copyright material or, where appropriate, have obtained the necessary permissions. If we have made a mistake please contact us and we will remove any infringing images.  

The opinions expressed in letters and archive items in the RCM Special Collections are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the Royal College of Music, London.

Interlibrary loans

We lend/supply some material to external borrowers, subject to preservation and copyright restrictions. For all interlending enquiries contact Monika Pietras.

Monika Pietras

Assistant Librarian (Interlending)

+44 (0)20 7591 4326

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