The Yale Bulldog intern scheme was established in 2005 in collaboration with Yale University in Connecticut. The scheme normally admits two interns for two months in the summer – one to work at 66 Portland Place working with Library Education department and one at the Drawings & Archives collection held in RIBA’s architectural partnership with the V&A.

This summer Anna Rose Canzano joined members of the RIBA curatorial team and this is her story…

My Experience at the British Architectural Library

My name is Anna Rose Canzano and I am a junior majoring in architecture at Yale University. This summer I had the opportunity to join the RIBA Drawings and Archives Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum for two months as an intern. My main project was to organize, catalogue, and rehouse the drawings for the Barbican Estate, an important example of post-war British urban planning designed by Chamberlin Powell & Bon. Because I was working with such an extensive collection of drawings on one specific architectural project, I began by researching the Barbican at the British Architectural Library itself. I then sorted through the portfolios of drawings and came up with a system to organize them based on the type of drawing and the content of the drawing; i.e. whether it depicted Barbican housing, or the Barbican Arts Centre theater, concert hall or art gallery. The drawings ranged from early sketches from the 1950s to ones from nearly 20 years later, and the process of going through the drawings offered me important insight to the design process. With my background in design and my experience with architectural drawings, the materials that I worked with on a daily basis constantly fascinated me, from technical drawings to painted perspective visualizations.

During my internship, I gained knowledge of archival practices, and the process of architectural research. I also was exposed to museum practices and curatorial work. I found the project extremely rewarding because during my time in London I was able to visit the Barbican in person.  This gave me a better understanding of the project, and it also contributed to my own developing academic interest in urban studies, specifically post-war housing. Additionally, the internship introduced me to alternative career paths that include a passion for architecture, even if one is not an architect. I have gained a stronger historical interest in architecture, which I will continue to explore through my academic choices. I am proud to have done valuable work in the collection, and now researchers can now access materials previously not known to the public.

Selection of drawings and visuals for the Barbican Arts Centre & Estate, London, designed by Chamberlin Powell & Bon © RIBA Collections
Selection of sketches of furniture designs by Robin Day, Barbican Arts Centre, London © RIBA Collections