The Soane Archive consists of Soane’s business and personal papers.
The main series are: Soane Notebooks – pocket memorandum books briefly outlining his day-to-day activities; Journals, Ledgers and Bill Books covering both his transactions with clients and his personal expenditure; correspondence with clients and friends; Office Day Books recording the work of his pupils and assistants on a daily basis; bundles of bills for architectural commissions and for household and personal expenditure, the latter including the bills relating to his purchase of many of the books, drawings and works of art which he collected; and the texts of his lectures given as Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy together with extensive notes and translations made in preparation for these.
Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural,
design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for
scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to
preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and
it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance
masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries
and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and
George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings
in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early
work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of
his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of
Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and
fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing