What does Black Cultural Archives do?

We collects archives and material relating to the experiences of Black people in the UK, with a particular focus on the late 20th century. You can use our archive and library to conduct research and we also offer a number of learning opportunities, including group visits  and are working on a number of resources for schools and community groups.

What are archives?

An archive can be a single document (sometimes called a record), or it can be an entire collection containing thousands of records. The term ‘archives’ generally refers to unique records which are kept for their historic or social value.

Everyone creates their own individual archive which includes letters, photographs and diaries. Organisations also create archives reflecting their activities.

What records do you hold?

Since 1981, Black Cultural Archives have been collecting archives which document the Black experience in Britain. Our collections span a period of three centuries, with a focus on the twentieth century to present day. They comprise a wide variety of material including archives, library material and objects reflecting the history of the African diaspora and the people presence of African descent in Britain.

We also have a library currently contains around 6,000 books and independently published literature. We have recently been given the Runnymede Trust collection and library which is one of the most important libraries on race relations in the country.

You can find out more about the collections by reading our themed study guides and summaries of the individual collections in the archives.

When did the new Black heritage centre be open?

The new heritage centre opened on 24th July 2014.

Where are you based, and how can I visit you?

We based on Windrush Square, Brixton. Our address is 1 Windrush Square, Brixton, SW2 1EF.

The heritage centre is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm. We are closed on Mondays and Sundays.

We have a Café open from 10am – 5pm and offer a range of freshly made sandwiches, hot lunchtime meals, delicious cakes and refreshments. Free WiFi is available.

Our Shop has a range of inspired gifts, postcards, notebooks and beautiful handcrafted items. We also stock a specialist range of books themed on African and Caribbean heritage.

Our reading room and library is open to the public to access materials from our archive. You will need an appointment to visit, email archives@bcaheritage.org.uk or call 0203 757 8511. Opening hours are Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm.

How can I submit a project?

If you have a project please send us the details of it, including time scale and budget and we will get back to you. Submissions are reviewed on a quarterly basis . 

Do you take volunteers?

We are currently recruiting for volunteers.