Our archive

About the archive

Photo of Barbican Lakeside during construction

In preparation for our 40th anniversary in 2022, the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music and Drama are assembling their collective archive. 

This exciting project will become a key collection of architecture, design and the performing arts. 

The archive comprises of the story of the Barbican Estate, Arts Centre and Guildhall School – tracing the bold architectural vision through architectural plans, the Centre’s programming of the performing and visual arts with a complete history of Barbican guides and programming ephemera, through to the generations of Guildhall School performers captured in their audio and visual archive.

The archive will tell the stories of how the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama buildings came to be, how they work, and how artists and audiences have defined them.

If you have materials you would like to contribute to the archive, or would like to learn more about the project, you can contact our Archive team at archives@barbican.org.uk

Supported by


Collection: From the Archive

Lear more about the construction and history of the Barbican Centre and Estate as we dig into our archive to reveal rarely seen photography, architectural plans, video and essays.

Building the Brutal

Photographer Peter Bloomfield was commissioned by the Barbican to document the final stages of building's construction. His beautiful images - which have never been shared with the public - capture the astonishing scale of the construction effort. 


View of the Barbican Centre

Watch: The Barbican: A Middle Class Council Estate

Produced by the Architecture Foundation, watch this short documentary exploring the history of the Barbican Estate, written and presented by Phineas Harper.