Aug 152016

SUNCAT is very pleased to announce that Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) has become our newest Contributing Library. Nearly 350 Iniva serial records have been loaded into the service. This takes the total number of libraries in SUNCAT to 105, plus the CONSER database, ISSN register and Directory of Open Access Journals.

Here Nick Brown, Library and Information Manager at Iniva, introduces the Stuart Hall Library and its periodical collection.


A photograph of the Stuart Hall Library, Iniva with Ansuman Biswas installation.

A view of an artist Ansuman Biswas’s site-specific installation Gnomon in the Stuart Hall Library, Iniva. (© Iniva, 2016.)

The Stuart Hall Library is part of Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) which focuses on diversity in the visual arts and the politics of representation. Collection strengths include African, Asian and Latin American art as well as the art of the diasporas, especially in the UK. The library collects around art which takes issues such as cultural identity as its theme or seeks to de-centre a Eurocentric and mono-cultural view of the art world(s). In these ways the library works to record a range of opinion with an international and transnational scope. It also plays an important role in documenting marginalised art histories, for example, the UK Black Arts Movement of the 1980s, which are often under-represented in other collections and in national institutions. The library was renamed in honour of the cultural theorist Stuart Hall who was the first Chair of Iniva and whose ideas animate the development of the collection. The library is free to use and open to all.

The collection comprises over 10,000 books, 300 journal titles and 800 audio visual items. There are also ‘zine and an artists’ book collection. The archive constitutes the institutional record of Iniva, papers from prominent individuals including Isaac Julien as well as an extensive collection of ephemera documenting artists, exhibitions and thinkers. The library runs an active series of Research Network events in which artists, academics, curators, students, social activists and practitioners of various kinds can share their work and a second group focusing on textiles and dress as part of wider visual culture and from a post-colonial viewpoint.

The periodical collection includes many rare items and aims to have a broad geographic scope. Highlights include important arts magazines from the 1970s, 80s and 90s such as Black Phoenix, Ten.8, Polareyes, Third Text, Artrage, Bazaar, Revue Noir and Black Arts in London to politically engaged magazines of today such as Strike! and the Occupied Times or those taking up the legacies of cultural studies like Soundings. Caribbean perspectives are represented in Small Axe, Savacou, Calabash and critical feminist voices in N. Paradoxa, MAKE Magazine, Women’s Art Magazine, Meridians and Feminist Art News. The collection covers a wide spectrum from Signals, a central document of the 1960s international avant-garde and Metronome, the peripatetic inter-cultural art journal (including the only copy in a library in England of the pilot issue produced in Dakar, Senegal) to Bidoun, showcasing art and culture from the Middle East, and Chimurenga/The Chronic one of the most exciting pan-African cultural journals active today. An audio recording of the Librarian discussing black art magazines with artist Joy Gregory and curator and writer David A. Bailey is available here.

Photograph of Rivington Place, London.

Rivington Place, London. (© Lyndon Douglas.)

Iniva is situated in Rivington Place in Shoreditch in a building designed by David Adjaye and shared with Autograph ABP (The Association of Black Photographers). For more information about the library please visit or contact


SUNCAT would like to thank Nick for writing this post. If you would like to write a post on your SUNCAT Contributing Library and its serials collections or would like to join SUNCAT please contact the EDINA Helpdesk at

 August 15, 2016  Posted by at 3:21 pm Contributing Libraries Tagged with: ,  No Responses »