The RIBA's British Architectural Library will launch an online database - which will ultimately contain some 20,000 images - next week.
RIBApix will give architects the opportunity to view and order bespoke images through the internet from the library's vast collections of photographs, drawings, engravings and manuscripts.
Among the best images to become available include pictures from the archive of architect-trained photographer Edwin Smith, who was hailed by Sir John Betjeman as 'a genius at photography'.
It will also include photographs by Dell and Wainwright, the official snappers to the Architectural Reviewin the 1930s.
Speaking about RIBApix, Robert Elwall, RIBA photographs curator, said: 'This is part of the British Architectural Library's ongoing, dynamic programme to make its rich resources available to the widest possible audience both through exciting new digital technologies and more conventional means.'
Initially consisting of 6,000 images, the resource, at www.ribapix.com will increase to 20,000 images by 2007.