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Black art - modern and contemporary, Africa and diaspora: Other libraries

Guide to resources for studying Black art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.



Library Hub Discover will find you books in other libraries in the UK (plus Dublin).

Library Hub Discover does not tell you which of the libraries it lists you can access. For this info see: 


The key libraries indexed by Library Hub Discover include: 

  • British Library one of the three largest libraries in the world.  Once you have a reader's pass, some online resources can be accessed from any location, including newspaper collections from Africa, the Caribbean and Black America
  • National Art Library at the V&A
  • Tate Library at Tate Britain

MA students researching the historical, social and political background to Black art should join:

  • Senate House Library (sorry, no access for other students)

And the following may also be useful for African art:

  • Aga Khan Library
  • SOAS only three free visits per year, unless you are a SOAS alumn


Two key libraries are not indexed by Library Hub Discover:

  • Black Cultural Archives for Black British art
  • iniva for British or British-based artists of recent African, or Asian, descent
  • the libraries in London guide provides more info and links

The history of the Black Cultural Archives is documented and discussed in Hannah J.M. Ishmael's 2020 PhD Thesis 'The Development of Black-Led Archives in London.'

For in-depth research in relevant areas, the African-Caribbean, Asian & African Art In Britain Archive at Chelsea College of Art, which is part of The University of the Arts London, will be worth exploring.



WorldCat will find you books in other libraries worldwide.  Coverage is uneven; e.g. there are some major African cities with no libraries included.

The SIA librarians will help you find books and access libraries anywhere in the world: though please note our knowledge of many countries is limited.