J M Richards Library

This is a collection of architectural books and journals collected by Sir James Maude Richards (1907-1992), a leading spokesman and theorist of the Modern Movement in architecture in Britain.

Richards was the editor of the Architectural Review magazine between 1937 and 1971, and MoDA holds copies of this in our collection.  During the 1930s Architectural Review was central to the debate concerning the Modern movement. As editor of the magazine Richards met all of the leading architectural practitioners and theoreticians of the day, and this is reflected in the contents of his library.

Richards’ best-known book, Castles on the Ground (1946), represents his argument in favour of suburbia, and his appreciation of the ‘everyday’ built environment.

Sir J M Richards’ Library consists of over 1500 volumes and contains all his own published work, plus books by leading artists and architectural writers including John Betjeman, John Piper, Osbert Lancaster, Nikolaus Pevsner, John Nash, Herbert Read and John Summerson.

The collection is also used by those with an interest in town planning, vernacular architecture, drainage and sanitation, and other housing-related issues.

We’ve put together a short online reading list about JM Richards and his influence on British architecture.