The Bristol Art Library is a fully functioning public library housed in a wooden cabinet the size of a small suitcase. Annabel Other, the artist, created the library in 1998 and is the Head Librarian. The library’s volumes cover a wide range of subjects, from palaeontology to astronomy, with 250 books (all 5 in x 4 in) made by artists and practitioners from all areas of the arts and sciences.
Membership of Bristol Art Library is free, and once you have joined and received your manilla reader’s ticket you may visit the library and peruse its volumes anywhere in the world. The library now has 11,500 members, a gift shop and a friends’ organisation FOTBAL (Friends of The Bristol Art Library).
Being portable, the library can travel to almost any location in the world, and this year alone it has visited over 40 places. Although the library often appears at museums, galleries and arts centres, it is equally at home in venues such as private houses, hotel lobbies and the waiting area of a hairdressers.
The Bristol Art Library was selected to make a short film as part of Channel 4’s Slot Art series, which was broadcast nationally.