Martha Cooper Library

The Martha Cooper Library (MCL) specializes in literature on urban art, street art, and graffiti since the 1960s. A focus is on style writing from the 1970s onward in the U.S. tradition. The collection is based on the donation, as well as numerous permanent loans, of publications and archival materials by Martha Cooper.

Martha Cooper im Ausstellungsraum der Bibliothek im URBAN NATION Museum.
Martha Cooper in the exhibition room of the library in the URBAN NATION Museum.

Collection Profile of the MCL

The MCL specializes in literature on street art, graffiti, and urban art since 1960. Here, the holdings focus 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.

Some of the books in our collection are rare and not available in any other library in Berlin. We also own volumes that have been signed by the author(s) or artist(s) or have a dedication to Martha Cooper.

The library owns unique items or books that have only been published in small editions, gray literature, and handmade fanzines.

The MCL also assembles relevant material for research by scholars, artists, and curators, and is available to fellows in the “Fresh A.I.R.” residency program.

Interested parties are invited to use the library’s reading room by appointment. This is located on the second floor of the URBAN NATION Museum and provides two workstations for users*.

In November 2021, the Martha Cooper Library opened at the URBAN NATION Museum (MCL).

Reading room of the Martha Cooper Library

Usage information

Who can use the library?

The library is available to anyone over the age of 18 who would like to learn more about graffiti and street art.

Library catalog

In the library catalog (OPAC) you can search the media stock of the library, independent of time and place.

Registration

To use the library, you must register. For this purpose you must show your identity card. By registering, you accept the library’s rules of use. After registration you will receive a user card and a temporary password, which must be changed the first time you log in to your user account.

User account

You can access your user account via the library catalog. You will need your user number and password to log in. After logging in, you can order media from the closed stacks to the reading room.

Workstations

For studying and working we provide four workstations as well as a computer for research.

The use of the library is only possible with confirmed registration.

Opening hours:

Tuesdays 10:00-15:30

Thursdays 12:00-15:30

For short-term changes and information, please refer to the website.

Contact and directions

Librarian:
Eveline Wilson

Library Director:
Dr. Hans-Michael Brey

Martha Cooper Library at URBAN NATION Museum
Bülowstr. 7
D – 10783 Berlin
T: +49 30 4708 2834
+49 173 6494243
MCL@stiftung-berliner-leben.de

Directions:
Subway: Line U1, U2, U3, U4 (U Nollendorfplatz)
Bus: 106, 187, M19 (U Nollendorfplatz)

The Martha Cooper Library is a project of Stiftung Berliner Leben