The Bartlett School of Architecture

Mr Colin Thom

Mr Colin Thom

Senior Research Associate

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
29th Oct 2013

Research summary

Colin Thom is Director of the Survey of London, where for many years now he has contributed to the research, writing, editing and production of the Survey's renowned series of volumes on London's history and architecture. He edited the landmark 50th volume, Battersea: Houses and Housing (Yale UP, 2013) and recently co-edited the two-volume set on South East Marylebone (Yale UP, 2017). He is now contributing to a follow-up volume, South West Marylebone, scheduled for publication in 2024. At the Survey, Colin's main area of research expertise is in the history of London's housing of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. He is also author of Researching London's Houses: An Archives Guide (Historical Publications, 2005). 

Having studied Robert Adam's architecture at Glasgow University under the acclaimed Adam scholar A. A. Tait, Colin wrote the first ever comprehensive account of the Adam brothers' important urban development at Portland Place for the Survey's South East Marylebone volumes. He recently edited a new study of the Adams' art and architecture, Robert Adam and His Brothers: New light on Britain's leading architectural family (Historic England, 2019), which is now available via Liverpool University Press - see https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/books/id/52250/. The book is based on the best of the academic papers from an international symposium of the same name, arranged by Colin for the Georgian Group at the RIBA in 2015. 

He is now embarked on a new Adam research project, with Dr Adriano Aymonino of the History of Art Department at Buckingham University, to produce a comprehensive critical edition of the Grand Tour correspondence of Robert and James Adam, for publication as an online, open access facility, based on new digital scans and accurate transcriptions of the letters. In 2019 this project was awarded a £39k Digital Projects Grant by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the first Bartlett project to receive such a grant. It is intended that the project will reach completion in 2023/24, with the online letters edition being hosted on the website of Sir John Soane's Museum, where the collection of Adam brothers' office and travel drawings is held. More information can be found on the project website at https://adamgrandtour.online/

Teaching summary

Colin Thom teaches on the Bartlett's Masters course in the Historic Urban Environment, and also assists in teaching on the Masters course in Architectural History. 


Colin is an MA Honours Graduate in English Literature and the History of Art from Glasgow University, and worked in the photo and film archive of London Transport Museum before joining the Survey of London.