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RNIB archive

Our unique collection of artefacts and documents represents the history and culture of blind and partially sighted people in the UK over the last 150 years and beyond.

It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility for RNIB to be the custodian of these artefacts and documents.

The Archive collection has been brought together and catalogued for the first time to ensure that this irreplaceable history is preserved for future generations.

In RNIB's Archive you will find:

  • An extensive collection of embossed literature in braille and other tactile reading formats used at various times such as Lucas, Alston, Gall and New York Point.
  • Many old and historically important books and publications including The Book of Common Prayer, The Radio Times, Daily Mail and Punch as well as poetry and braille music.
  • Annual reports, key documents and minute books relating to RNIB and many other organisations within the visual impairment sector.
  • Examples of old braille machinery and equipment, including pen and pencil writing frames, braille frames, and various braillers such as the Perkins and the Pyke-Glauser.
  • Photographs of the books, equipment, schooling and daily lives of blind and partially sighted people through the years. We also have images of key figures such as Dr Thomas Rhodes Armitage and Louis Braille.

Contact us

If you wish to visit the RNIB Archive, we recommend that you contact us first so we can help you get the most out of your visit.

We are open from 10:00am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.