The FICA Reading Room was born out of the need to make exclusively published art publications available to a larger public that includes art students, independent researchers and art enthusiasts who have little or no access to university or private libraries in India.

In 2017 we shifted the Reading Room to Khirki Extension in South Delhi, where we shared the space with Gati Dance Forum.

We are currently stationed in Lado Sarai. Housed in the Lado Sarai art neighbourhood, the reading room functions as an intimate, interactive platform where workshops, discussions, film screenings and other programmes is hosted. These include talks by visiting artists, scholars, curators and critics about their work and the progress of their practice, Art History workshops for children, and discussion forums for a variety of topics.

Address:  | F-213/E-2, 2nd Floor, Old MB Road, Lado Sarai, New Delhi: 110030 | Timings: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday - Saturday

The Collection

The FICA Reading Room currently houses more than 3000 Indian and international books, journals and magazines on Art History, Contemporary Artists, Art Theory, Photography and Architecture. The collection also includes catalogues of exhibitions, art fairs and auctions from the last twenty years. While, the Reading Room houses books on all the important artists of Western Art, the focus of the collection remains Indian art. The collection includes exhibition catalogues, catalogue raisonné, academic and art journals, anthologies with art historical and critical essays, limited edition books (Eg: MF Husain's artist's books), privately published catalogues, out of print artist catalogues, magazines and auction catalogues, as well as a section dedicated to children's literature in the arts.

The collection was re-cataloged by Jasmine Vasandani in 2013, and is now organized according to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system, a thematic system of organization used in a majority of academic institutions in the United States and other countries. Developed by the Library of Congress--one of the largest libraries in the world--the LCC is a system of classification that uses a book’s specific subject heading to organizetheir place on a library’s shelves. That is, books are assigned a unique Library of Congress Call Number based on the book’s broad themes. As a result, a library whose books are organized by these specific call numbers are subsequently thematically organized. At the FICA Reading Room, where a majority of the books are based on the arts, the books are further divided into specific subgenres within the arts that include art history, art theory, visual arts, sculpture, et cetera. Since the FICA Reading Room utilizes this method of classification, its books have become part of a much larger network of cataloging, for a majority of research institutions across the globe use the Library of Congress Classification to organize their libraries. 

The new space is also host to the Gati Archives, which is an exciting repository of books on dance and performance.