The Library Collection, with books and audiovisual material of different kind, has been formed around the IVAM didactic and exhibition activities, concerts and film shows, courses, etc.
The exhibitions about the avant-garde, in the first stage of the museum, encouraged the acquisition of original material of these movements: illustrated books about Soviet avant-garde, Central Europe magazines with avant-garde typography, Dada publications, surrealist American magazines from the 40s, as well as a series of Spanish magazines from the first half of the 20th century that were authentic manifests of the first avant-garde movements in our country.
The exhibitions around an artist led to the acquisition of two types of special publications: on one hand catalogues raisonnés, and on the other hand Artists’ books, initiated by those artists from the second half of the 20th century by using series and documentary photography.
On subscription we receive current magazines and catalogues of auctions held by Christie’s and Sotheby’s and, due to the exchange of publications with more than 300 entities, about 550 catalogues from exhibitions around the world every year.
Apart from publications about museology, the theory and aesthetics of art, the history of art movements and monographs, and artist catalogues, there are important publications on Architecture, Design and, above all, Photography, since the IVAM was one of the first modern art museums that started the compilation of a photography collection in Spain.
The Collection also includes several archives of artists containing thousands of documents which have been added by donation, purchase or deposit. Among them it is worth to highlight the Josep Renau Archive and Library (a collection which is frequently requested by researchers and to be part of exhibitions), the Julio González Archive (completely digitalized and accessible from the database of the library), and the archives on Eusebio Sempere, the Grupo Parpalló, Vicente Huidobro and Manolo Gil.
The material that the IVAM produces or that is about the museum, together with its exhibition and cultural activity, creates a very heterogeneous collection that includes exhibition catalogues, monographs, posters, audiovisual recordings of conferences, courses, round tables and press conferences, brochures, press releases, etc. Without any doubt these are all key elements in the IVAM studies since, as a real documentary report of all its activities, they are a direct source of information for the history of the museum.
Due to the increasing level of interdisciplinarity in the arts, in the last years we have been creating a media library through the acquisition of video art and experimental cinema, electroacoustic music and sound art as well as a good collection of blues and jazz music.
The Library is currently working on the digitalization process of some specific documentary groups. Thanks to this program, it is possible to access the digitalised images from the Julio González Archive or the MP3 recordings of the talks and press conferences that took place in the IVAM from 1989 to 2002 from the computer stations in the Reading Room. The articles of the magazine 'Kalias', which was published by the museum until 2002, can also be consulted in PDF format from the Library's own database, as wel as the magazine 'IVAM Notebook'