Over thirty years ago, Len Garrison, a co-founder of Black Cultural Archives, asked the question ‘Where are our Heroes, Martyrs and Monuments?’. Founded in 1981, Black Cultural Archives began collecting materials which would seek to redress the historical imbalance of the representation of Black people in Britain. The aim to build a monument to collect, preserve and promote understanding of Black cultural heritage has been realised and at the heart of this aim is the collections.
The community archive that was amassed over all these years was transformed in 2008 through a two-year project called ‘Documenting the Archive’, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. This brought in professional archivists working closely with a large team of volunteers to catalogue the books, objects, and archive collections.
If you wish to contribute to our collection then please select this link Contribute
Most of our collections are available to search through the link below:
Our reference library currently contains around 8,500 books. We acquired the Runnymede Collection which is one of the most important collections on race relations in the country. Select this link to access the Runnymede Trust collection.
The reading room and reference library is open Wednesday-Friday, 10.00am-4.00pm and every second Thursday of the month, 1.00pm-7.00pm. We ask all users to book an appointment during the week for viewing archive material. No appointment is required on a Saturday, simply drop in and ask at reception to access the reading room.
Christmas Opening Hours
We close to the public on Friday 23 December 2016 at 4pm. We re-open on Tuesday 10 January 2017 and the reading room will open on 25 January 2017. Normal hours listed above will resume.