The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) was formally established in 1997 with the aim of documenting all aspects of 20th century and contemporary Irish art and design and providing public access to a national research resource. NIVAL is a partnership initiative between the National College of Art and Design and the Arts Council. It has also received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Heritage Council.
The Library is a unique research facility wherein every aspect of 20th century Irish art and design has been documented. Much of the material, amassed over the last thirty years, is unavailable elsewhere. The collection includes monographs, exhibition catalogues, artists’ books, price lists, press releases and newspaper reviews. The Library subscribes to a number of relevant journals and significant back-runs of these are available.
The Library serves a wide range of researchers including authors of books and articles, art and design practitioners, scholars and lecturers, as well as the general public interested in current, historical and biographical information on the visual arts in Ireland.
The administrator of the Library is available for advice and assistance on how best to use the resource. Access to the collection is free and available without appointment.
The Library maintains a policy of maximum accessibility to the collections, consistent with the preservation of material and the practical and legal limitations on our resources. All material is available on request and is reference only.
Facilities include reading tables, viewing tables for slides, access to hard copy indexes of the collection, and black & white and colour photocopying.
The Library provides photocopying facilities in accordance with the terms of copyright law. Its resources do not at present allow it to research and supply copies by post or fax but legal, self-service photocopying is available to visitors.