History and Archive

Founded in a coffee shop in Covent Garden in 1754, the RSA has a wealth of notable achievements and Fellows in its 250-year history.  These include RSA Medals, awarded annually to international thought-leaders and innovators. Our Archive preserves historical records relating to the RSA's activities and administration and makes them available for research.

Explore the history timeline to learn more about famous Fellows and the RSA's work.


Find out more about using the RSA Archive.

Transitions & Transformations: The Great Room and First Floor Development

This exhibition illustrates the changes and transformations that have taken place over time at the RSA House on John Adam Street. It focuses on the areas in the House that have recently undergone extensive refurbishment, using material selected from the RSA's Archive and designs supplied by the architects Matthew Lloyd, to show the nature of the changes and their historical precedent. View a timeline (PDF) on some of the changes within the RSA House.

Additional images provided by:
Alex Starkey
Donald Southern
Mark Sheldon
Matthew Lloyd Architects
Mikael Schilling
English Heritage
Pictorial Times
Mary Evans Picture Library

Visit the House

Our historic House is open to the public by appointment, and on Open House days. 

Find out when you can visit us.


Find out more about RSA Governance, the Trustee Board and the Impact report.