Welcome to The National Irish Visual Arts Library

The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) is a public research resource dedicated to the documentation of 20th and 21st century 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’s collection policy includes Irish visual art from the whole island as well as Irish art abroad and non-Irish artists working in Ireland.   Information is acquired on artists, designers, galleries, arts organisations and institutions, critics and other related subjects.  The collection contains documentary material in all formats including books, catalogues, videos, slides, artists’ papers and ephemera in print and digital format. 

Viewfinder to File | Documents on Photography in Ireland

'Viewfinder to File' installation image, Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland, July 2019. Photo credit: Ruth McHugh.

Congratulations to PhotoIreland on their 10th annual festival and what has been another fantastic series of events and exhibitions. 

NIVAL was delighted to display Viewfinder to File in the Festival's landmark Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland. The materials included were specially selected from the collections at NIVAL, in particular the artist files, gallery files, journals and exhibition catalogues.

We hope that this brief introduction imparted a sense of the variety of information resources within the library and the potential for deeper and more extensive research around photography as a medium or as a documentary resource within the archive.

These materials, like all NIVAL collection materials, are accessible to the public without charge or membership. View our opening hours and make an appointment to consult materials in our Reading Room here

Stained Glass Collections at NIVAL

The latest edition of the Irish Arts Review (Summer 2019 Vol 36 No 2) features an insightful and beautifully illustrated article by Dr David Caron on the work of Murphy Devitt Studios.

In 2018, the archive of Murphy Devitt Studios was donated to NIVAL and includes cartoons and sketches for hundreds of works including the one featured here at Newbridge College Chapel, Co Kildare. Work on this recent acquisition is ongoing but an overview of the collection is available here

NIVAL now holds a comprehensive range of archive collections from stained glass studios and artists with materials from 1850s - 2000s. These include:

Earley & Company Collection [1858 - 1964]

Patrick Pollen Collection [1934 - 1988]

Helen Moloney Collection [1960 - 1990]

Murphy Devitt Studios Collection [1960 - 2006]

Information on our opening hours and how to request an appointment to view materials can be found here

NIVAL Summer Hours 2019

NIVAL welcomes researchers year-round, including during the summer. Please note our reduced hours over the summer months. You can make an appointment to view any NIVAL materials by emailing nivalinfo(at)staff.ncad.ie 

17th June – 13th September 2019 (Summer hours)

  • Monday: By appointment only - 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Friday: CLOSED 

Full information on NIVAL access can be found here.




The Arts Council
National College of Art & Design

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