Today I encountered some frustrating news. Having contacted the V&A about visiting to view items from the reserve collection I received an automated reply in which I was informed that:
'We are unable to offer any appointments to view objects in our stores until autumn 2013 because we are building a new visitor centre at our Blythe Road branch in Kensington Olympia. This major development involves moving more than 80,000 items of textiles and dress and will take over two years. The Clothworkers' Study Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation will be a dedicated facility to study, conserve and store the Museum's collection of textiles and fashion.'
In addition the textile galleries are also closed '(Rooms 98-100) have closed as part of the Museum's extensive FuturePlan programme of refurbishment.'
I suppose work of this kind is necessary in order to improve access to collections but it is very frustrating when working on a project with a limited time frame. I do wish they would put something on the website to make it clear. Unfortunately this means I will have to look elsewhere for my research.
I will look forward to seeing the new visitor centre when it is finished!