Black Cultural Archives

1 Windrush Square
London, Brixton
Greater London SW2 1EF

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 the Heritage Lottery Fund. This brought in professional archivists working closely with a large team of volunteers to catalogue our collections of books, objects, and archives. Our reference library currently contains around 6,000 books and independently published literature. We also acquired the Runnymede Collection Library which is one of the most important libraries on race relations in the country.

Photographic reproduction of artwork, originally purported to be a portrait of Francis Barber, companion to Dr Samuel Johnson, in the manner of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The original is held in the Tate gallery and a copy portrait is displayed at Dr Johnson House. c1990s. From Black Cultural Archives collection Ref PHOTOS/27