Collections overview

The collection at the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) is comprised of documentation in all formats on Irish art and design from 1900 onwards.  All materials are reference only and can not be borrowed.  Collection materials are organised into categories by format and subject area to facilitate ease of access and retrieval.  NIVAL prioritises public access to the collection, including the provision of searchable online catalogues.  The library is committed to the further development of descriptive finding aids to all aspects of the collection.

The main components of the collection are:

  • Books, Journals & Catalogues
  • Ephemera Files
  • Special Collections 

The NIVAL collection of Books, Journals & Catalogues is the most comprehensive library collection of published titles pertaining to Irish art and design.  The more than 3000 books and catalogues and approximately 60 journals can be searched on the NCAD Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).

The Ephemera Files contain an unparalleled collection of printed documentation such as invitation cards, press releases, news clippings, brochures, and small-scale catalogues.  The file material is divided into one of the following series: Artists, Galleries, Related Subjects, and Design.  The Artists Database and the Irish Galleries Database provide an online gateway to summary information abstracted from the NIVAL Artists and Galleries files.  A complete listing by title of the Related Subjects and Design Files is also available to browse online.   A visit to NIVAL is recommended to researchers seeking a comprehensive view of the file contents.

The NIVAL Special Collections are groupings of material that form discrete collections, archival material which originated from one source and is of more use to the researcher when kept together in a logical sequence.  Special collections can document an artist, arts organisation, art movement, or combination thereof.  Read more about the Special Collections.