A display of material from our archive about Arnolfini's pioneering video library
The Video Library at Arnolfini was the first art video access library in Britain. It opened in October 1981, reflecting the growing importance of moving image as a medium used by visual artists.
At its height, the library housed 350 tapes covering original video art, independent film, and arts documentaries. Work by artists including Jean Luc Goddard, Sally Potter and Laura Mulvey, was available to view in booths for a small charge. Screening events were also regularly arranged.
The library was widely commended as a pioneering example of facilitating broad public access to an experimental medium that was used as a model both within the UK and abroad.
During the exhibition of John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea, visit Level 2 and discover historic posters and publicity materials from the Video Library.
Part of the Arnolfini Story Project
Arnolfini Story is a multifaceted project celebrating the heritage of our organisation. Through it, we offer information and material from our archives, invite you to share your Arnolfini memories with us, and commission artists and writers to create new response to our history. It launched in 2015, 40 years after Arnolfini moved in to the Bush Warehouse, thereby becoming one of the first organisations to pioneer reuse of Bristol’s derelict docks.