INAUGURATION OF THE Martha Cooper Library

  • by BLITZ EN

From 2nd November visitors to the library will be able to access over 2,000 books, magazines, single issues, fanzines and videos on urban art, street art and graffiti.

With the Martha Cooper Library (MCL), the URBAN NATION Museum would like to offer a specialist audience the opportunity to experience the phenomenon of urban art not only within the framework of the changing exhibitions, but also through various media including books, notebooks and illustrated books. 

The reference library specialises in literature on urban art, street art and graffiti since the 1960s. In addition to monographs and anthologies on individual artists, reference works and sociological essays, the collection also focuses on style writing from the 1970s onwards in the US tradition. The steadily growing collection of rare books, unique pieces, grey literature and handmade fanzines has been built up from donations and numerous permanent loans of publications and archives by the photojournalist Martha Cooper, one of the first protagonists and major documentarist of graffiti and street art. Moreover, the MCL collection includes magazines, specialist publications and documentaries on graffiti and street art, which have been published since 1980 and include both TV reports and videos of festivals.

Martha Cooper in the MCL reading room. Photo: Nika Kramer

In the URBAN NATION Museum, 1st floor (reading room)

Opening hours (after prior registration)
Tuesday 10.00 am – 3.30 pm
Thursday 12.00 noon to 3.30 pm

To use the library, you must register in writing and present your identity card. Users will then receive a library card and a temporary password, which must be changed the first time they log in to their user account.

We provide four workstations for those wishing to study and work, and a computer for research purposes.
Use of the library is only permitted once your registration has been confirmed. Use the following link to register:

User account
Access to the user account is via the library catalogue. A user number and password are required to log in. Once you have registered, you can order media from the closed stacks into the reading room.

Library catalogue
You can use the library catalogue (OPAC) to research the media collection in the library any time and anywhere:

Who can use the library?
The library is available to anyone who wants to learn more about graffiti and street art.

The library collection has over 2,000 media items and offers a diverse selection of works on the subjects of urban art, street art and graffiti. Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures
Extended to 22nd May 2022

Opening times

Tuesday and Wednesday 10.00 am – 6.00 pm
Thursday to Sunday 12.00 noon – 8.00 pm

Admission is free. Please register in advance via the digital ticket system.

With Martha Cooper: Taking Pictures: the URBAN NATION Museum is presenting the first comprehensive retrospective of the photographic works of Martha Cooper. The exhibition traces Martha Cooper’s life over six decades through photographs and personal objects, and pays tribute to her as an important documentarist of the global urban art movement. The retrospective at the URBAN NATION Museum marks the venue’s first photo and documentary exhibition. The multi-faceted exhibition will bring fresh aspects to the museum programme. Curators Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo have worked closely with Martha Cooper to create a multimedia exhibition juxtaposing artistic works and documentary material.

Visitors will gain an exclusive insight into Martha Cooper’s collection of sketchbooks (the “black books”) and memorabilia along with her own extensive photo archive. Numerous items from her personal collection set her work in context and highlight its cultural-historical relevance.