The Stuart Hall Library is Iniva’s critical and creative hub. The library holds Iniva’s collections and research, and supports Iniva’s work 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. It also hosts regular talks and events, including the Research Network and the Saturday Reading Group. Check the Programme page for upcoming Iniva events in the library and elsewhere.
Everyone is welcome, you can register for membership here before your visit.
Library visitors can access the collection through the online catalogue. Titles can be searched by author, keyword, title, curator, artist or individual contributor.
The library’s collections are internationally significant in the field of contemporary visual art. They have 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. Holdings include a substantial collection of monographs, catalogues, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, slides and other media on visual arts and culture.
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. It 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, particularly theory with a non-Western focus.
The library holds over 10,000 book volumes, a collection of journals including many rare items important to the UK black arts movement, a growing collection of contemporary artist and activist zines, and a substantial AV collection of artists’ films and interviews as well as documentation of Iniva exhibition events. The library also houses an archive of artist, exhibition and publication files from Iniva’s history. The archive has not been catalogued yet, and is a potential source of new primary research, including archives donated by artist Isaac Julien and curators Hou Hanru and David A. Bailey; the Iniva People Directory gives a good approximation of the artists and curators represented in the archive.