Acquisitions to the RSA collections occur from various sources.

The core collection of Diploma works from the Membership continues to grow as new members are elected.

There is a growing body of works accessioned from RSA awards and scholarship winners, which push the boundaries of the collections through innovative contemporary practice and new media.

Material also enters the collection through individual and institutional gifts and bequests, as well as historic purchase funds and targeted acquisitions. In 2014 the RSA established a landmark acquisition fund to purchase key works by members that were missing from the collection. The first acquisition was a significant oil painting by David Octavius Hill RSA.