Stuart Hall Library is a specialist reference library that holds iniva’s collections and research. The library supports the work of iniva by documenting and facilitating its research into the contemporary visual arts within an international and transnational context, as well as providing critical material on issues of cultural identity and offering a specialist collection that is open to the public. The collection is international, with an emphasis on art and artists from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and UK artists of African, Asian and Latin American heritage, and from other cultural backgrounds.
The collection contains over 3000 foreign language and dual language exhibition catalogues by a group of artists. It has holdings for most biennial exhibitions around the world including São Paulo Art Biennial from 1951, Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Berlin Biennale, Sharjah Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, Shanghai Biennale, Dakar Biennale, Biennale of Sydney, Manifesta, and Istanbul Biennial. Other exhibition catalogues international group shows, triennials and more including Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Documenta, and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. A selection of the curators of these exhibitions, iniva has worked with and are listed in iniva’s People Directory.
The collection has over 3500 individual artist monographs predominately focusing of British-born or based artists of diverse cultural background and international diasporic artist active from 1950s onwards. A large majority of artists collected for this collection iniva has worked with and are listed in iniva’s People Directory.
Theory and Literature
We collects contextual critical theory with a political and international focus, in particular on diasporic thought, intersectional identity theory as well as critical theory around contemporary art and visual cultures, and especially with a non-Western focus. A selection of writers in the collections iniva has worked with and are listed in iniva’s People Directory. Prominent writers include Stuart Hall, bell hooks, W.E.B. Du Bios, Maud Sulter, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Octavia Butler, C.L.R. James and Audre Lorde. There is a variety of small and independent publishing presses represented in the collection including Urban Fox Press, Pluto Press, University of the West Indies, MA Bibliothèque and Lawrence and Wishart.
Our journals collection of over 400 titles including many rare items important to the UK Black Arts Movement, British and International comtemporary visual arts and culture. The period from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s saw the emergence of arts magazines such as Black Phoenix, Artrage, Black Arts in London, Bazaar, Echo, Polareyes, Ten.8, and Third Text which dealt specifically with the work of British Black and Asian artists or engaged in a broader cultural and political struggle over the politics of representation to help inform an emergent generation of cultural activists. Other important journals at Stuart Hall Library include Chimurenga Chronic, Terremoto, Small Axe, Art Asia Pacific, Meridian, Feminist Review, Race & Class, and Soundings.
The library holds growing collection of contemporary artist and activist zines and self-published items of around 400 zines. We collect zines that explore different aspects of cultural identity. This includes but isn’t limited to issues around race, gender, class, religion, subcultures, sexuality, and post-colonialism. These are mainly from artists, collectives, series and distros including Race Revolt, One of My Kind, Flabby Dagger, Shotgun Seamstress, The Life and Times of Butch Dykes, Culture Slut, MXD, Holy Tityclamps, Electra, Marcia X, Soapzine and Black Lesbians in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s (Lesbian Herstory). The images in this leaflet are from the collection and copyright is with the artists (we’re happy to help you find who).
The library is open to all and the zine collection is kept on open shelves and is fully browsable. It compliments and counterpoints the rest of the collection which includes artists’ books, self-published and alternative press as well as more conventionally published material on diversity in contemporary art from a decidedly cross-cultural perspective.
We hold a substantial audio visual collection of artists’ films and interviews as well as documentation of iniva programming such as talks, symposiums, seminars, workshops etc.