The library is open from 02.11.2021
Welcome to the Martha Cooper Library at URBAN NATION Museum (MCL).
We look forward to opening the library on November 02, 2021.
You are welcome to visit us by appointment.
The reading room is located on the second floor of the URBAN NATION Museum and is open Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and Thursdays from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm.
Collection Profile of the MCL
The MCL specializes in literature on street art, graffiti, and urban art since 1960. Here, the collection focuses significantly on style writing from the 1970s onward in the U.S. tradition, starting in Philadelphia and New York. Against the background of Martha Cooper as an ethnographer, however, literature on historical graffiti should not be missing.
At the same time, we in the MCL would like to present the illegal flip side of art in space and want to mediate this through books, photos and relics. This is done not least by collecting fanzines as well as graffiti magazines of the 1980s and 1990s.
In addition, the library's holdings include monographs and anthologies on individual artists, reference literature, summaries of street art and graffiti, and scholarly treatises.
The steadily growing collection is based on the donation as well as numerous permanent loans of publications and archival materials by Martha Cooper.
Our holdings include books, some of which are rare, that are not available in any other Berlin library. We also own volumes that have been signed by the author(s) or artist(s) or have a dedication to Martha Cooper.
In addition, the library owns unique items or books that have only been published in small editions, gray literature, and handmade fanzines.
Who is Martha Cooper?
Martha Cooper is a documentary photographer who has been capturing subcultural art and architecture in urban spaces for over 40 years.
In 1977, Martha Cooper moved to New York City from Rhode Island and worked as a photographer at the New York Post for three years. During this time, she began photographically capturing graffiti and b-boying, which inspired her extensive documentation of the beginnings of hip-hop when this new style of music was just emerging in the Bronx. The resulting images, which are known worldwide, helped make hip-hop the groundbreaking international youth movement it is today.
Martha Cooper's 1984 book Subway Art (edited by the photographer herself and Henry Chalfant) is affectionately called "The Bible" by graffiti artists today. She is considered the most important chronicler of graffiti and street art. Martha Cooper's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and published in numerous magazines - from National Geographic to Vibe. Martha Cooper lives in Manhattan to this day, but travels extensively, for example to urban art festivals around the world.
The library is open to any natural person over the age of 18 who wishes to study graffiti and street art in greater depth.
The Martha Cooper Library is a reference library. There is no lending service available.
You can search the library's media holdings in the library catalog (OPAC), regardless of time or location.
By visiting the library, you accept the user regulations in the currently valid version.
When visiting, please make sure to observe the current corona regulations.
Current notices can be found on our website.