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Library & Archive Collection


The Stuart Hall Library collections are internationally significant in the field of contemporary visual art. They have an emphasis on art and artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America and British-born and British-based artists of diverse cultural backgrounds. The library also collects contextual critical theory with a political and international focus, in particular on diasporic thought and intersectional identity theory as well as critical theory around contemporary art and visual cultures with a non-Western focus.

The library holds a substantial reference only collection of over 10,000 book volumes. This includes essays and monographs; a collection of 200 journals titles with many rare items important to the UK Black Arts Movement; a growing collection of contemporary artist and activist zines on the politics of race, class, gender and sexuality; and a substantial AV collection of artists’ films and interviews as well as documentation of Iniva exhibition events.

The collection contains many foreign language and dual language exhibition catalogues, and has holdings for most biennial exhibitions around the world going back to the first Sao Paolo Biennial in 1951.

For the most accurate information on our holdings, search the library catalogue.

Archive Collection

The library also houses a physical archive collection comprised of artist files, printed material, ephemera, slides and audio visual material, which document the activities of Iniva since its inception, as well as organisational records. The archive holds 5,000 slides and approximately 200 artists’ files, including archives donated by artist Isaac Julien and curators Hou Hanru and David A. Bailey.

Iniva was awarded the Business Archive Council Cataloguing Grant in 2018 to allow us to begin cataloguing the archive collection and make its contents accessible for future artists, curators and the general public to research the rich history on contemporary art on artists of African and Asian descent. A listing of the archive collections is now available online here.

Digital Archive Collection

There are online indexes listing information on artists that Iniva has worked with, past projects and exhibitions, and selected images from the exhibitions, available online through Iniva People Directory.

More information

Susan Skingle, Assistant Librarian

+44 (0)20 7630 1278