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Design showing laid out wall elevations for the library, 1770, executed with minor alterations (1)


The library is located on the principal storey of Robert Adam's central block, in the eastern half of the garden (south) front, between the dining room (later the music room) and the breakfast room. This room is widely held to be one of Adam's finest of the 1770s.

The room contains the original bookcases designed by Adam, as well as the portrait busts and plasterwork above, and his green and white marble chimneypiece. Harris has noted that the room also contains pier glasses which comprise an elongated version of those in Adam's library at Kenwood, and which were illustrated in The works in architecture of Robert and James Adam (Volume I, part II, pl. viii).



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 process).