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National College of Art and Design

The National College of Art and Design occupies a unique position in art and design education in Ireland. It offers the largest range of art and design degrees in the state at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) based in NCAD 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’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 held on artists, designers, critics, galleries, arts organisations and institutions.

The development of the NIVAL collection began in the NCAD library in the 1970s in response to a significant demand for documentary resources for the study of Irish visual art. Following discussions with the Arts Council in the 1990s it was agreed that the pre-existing collection at NCAD should be the genesis for a centre for the documentation of the Irish visual arts. In 1997, NIVAL was formally established as a partnership project between NCAD and the Arts Council. Since then, the collection of material has grown exponentially and has developed into a research resource of national importance. The main components of the collection are: books, journals and catalogues; ephemera files; and special collections. NIVAL holds the archives of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, the Friends of the National Collections, the College Student Registers dating back to 1877, and the Kilkenny Design Workshops which will be used as a Demonstrator Project for DRI.

Role, Contributions to the Project, Expectations of Outcomes

NCAD will participate in the management of the project, contribute to the policy on intellectual property and rights management, and will provide a demonstrator project as part of WP4. NCAD will make a substantial part of the KDW archive available through the DRI and in collaboration with DIT will explore state-of-the-art event metadata searching of the content. NCAD expects to extend the use of tools developed by DRI to apply to other collections held by NIVAL facilitating further research in the field of visual culture.