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National Irish Visual Arts Library

The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) is a public research resource dedicated to the documentation of 20th century and contemporary Irish visual art and design.  NIVAL collects, stores and makes accessible for research an unparalleled collection of documentation about Irish art in all media.

NIVAL is a partnership initiative between the National College of Art and Design and the Arts Council. It has also received funding from the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht; the Heritage Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


Access: Access to the collection is free and available without appointment.  Advance notice is appreciated for the consultation of Special Collections.


NIVAL Collections:
In summary the Library collects:

  • Material relating to Irish art in its various forms, from the 20th century onwards.
  • Material relating to non-Irish artists resident in Ireland or who have lived here for a period.
  • Records of the National College of Art & Design, the parent institution.

Documentation in all formats is acquired. Correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, notebooks, artists' records of their own work, administrative records of art galleries and institutions, audio-visual material, photographs, slides and general ephemera are all of interest. The Library does not collect actual works of art (paintings, drawings, etc.) although an artist's notebook containing sketches would be included.

Material is acquired by bequest, donation, by long-term or short-term loan (deposit) or by purchase.


The databases and collection finding aids of the National Irish Visual Arts Library are designed to improve public access to the Library's extensive collection of information on 20th century and contemporary Irish art and design. By making this information available on-line, the Databases provide access to summary information pertaining to certain of the Library's collections. A visit to the Library is recommended to researchers seeking a comprehensive view of the actual files.


Collection catalogues & finding aids:
Friends of the National Collections Archives, Earley and Company Archives, College Student Registers, Daniel Egan Gallery collection, Irish Exhibition of Living Art Archive, Kilkenny Design Workshops Archive, Irish Posters Collection

(Ceramics workshop, Castle Yard, Kilkenny, Kilkenny Design Workshops Archive)



National College of Art & Design, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

Telephone: 01 6364347 / 01 646 1103
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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