The RIBA's British Architectural Library Photographs Collection has taken over the photographic archive of the former Architectural Press following an agreement with The Architects' Journal's publisher, Emap Construct.
Emap has donated the collection - made up of nearly half a million prints and negatives - on the understanding that it will be conserved to modern standards and made fully accessible.
Most of the images were used in The Architectural Review and the AJ between 1930 and 1982, though some were also published in titles such as F R S Yorke's The Modern House (1937) and J M Richards' The Functional Tradition in Early Modern Buildings (1958).
Among the highlights of the archive are about 2,000 glass plate negatives taken by Dell and Wainwright, official photographers to the AR from 1930-1946.
Robert Elwall, curator of the RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection, said: 'We are delighted that Emap has given us the opportunity to make this internationally important archive accessible to the widest possible public and to provide it with the appropriate conservation that will also allow it to be enjoyed by generations to come. Its acquisition confirms the RIBA collection's standing as one of the finest in its subject field anywhere in the world.' Emap Construct editorial director Paul Finch added: 'We are very pleased to have made this substantial contribution, confident in the knowledge that it is in excellent professional hands. We hope this commitment will be echoed elsewhere.'