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About the Collections


iniva’s Stuart Hall Library acts as a critical and creative hub for iniva’s work. It houses unique and rare collections that are internationally significant in the field of contemporary visual art. It focuses on art from Indigenous, African, Caribbean, Asian, Latin American and UK 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 is a reference only collection of over 10,000 volumes including over 3500 individual artist monographs; 2500+ contextual, historical and theoretical books on the politics of race, class, gender; 400+ journals titles with many rare items important to the UK Black Arts Movement; a growing collection of 260+ artist and activist zines exploring different aspects of cultural identity and a substantial audio-visual collection of artists’ films and interviews. The collection also contains over 4000 group exhibition catalogues in dual language and foreign languages and most biennial exhibitions around the world going back to the first Sao Paolo Biennial in 1951.

Search the library catalogue.

Archive Collection

iniva archive held in Stuart Hall Library documents iniva’s 27-year history (1994-2021) of exhibition, publication and event making and being an agent for change, advocating for social justice through working with artists and their communities in order to diversify the mainstream of art history and education.

iniva’s archive consists of 350 artists files containing 4500 slides, 1260 files of artist ephemera and 20 files on Iniva events and projects. It holds iniva’s founding documents including transcripts from iniva’s founding symposium Global Visions: Towards a New Internationalism and board papers 1994-present. We also hold in part papers and correspondence of Professor Stuart Hall as former Chair of iniva, OVA (Organisation of Visual Arts, a franchise of iniva) initiated by photographer Sunil Gupta and donated writings from David A. Bailey, artist Isaac Julien, Hanru Hou’s curatorial and research work at iniva as well as a Li Yun-chia’s research project.

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.

Our archive catalogue is available online. The archive catalogue contains a small selection of archive a listing of archive for iniva’s Artist Files; Early Constitution and Governance Documents and Programming. A listing of the archive collections is also available online. Email library@iniva.org to view archival material with a minimum of a weeks notice. A max of 5 files per visit.

Digital Archive Collection

iniva digital archive or People Directory is an online index of contemporary artists, curators, critics, writers and collectives iniva has worked with since 1994, including biographies, audio and video material of past projects and selected images from iniva exhibitions.

The individuals and projects represented embrace the breadth and diversity of contemporary art, both locally and globally. Bridging the gap between contemporary art and culturally diverse audiences, these online resources makes connections between contemporary artworks and everyday lived experience, historically undocumented more accessible to a wider public.

More information

Tavian Hunter, Library and Archive Manager
+44 (0)20 7630 1278