Shadow libraries

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Independent, shadow, self-hosted, artists' digital libraries.


  • Monoskop is an independent online educational resource and research platform for arts, culture and humanities. Monoskop was initiated in 2004 in the context of experimental digital culture in Bratislava and the wider region. Founding editor: Dušan Barok. The Monoskop Log library has branched out in 2009. Monoskop. Monoskop Log.
  • Sci-Hub provides mass and public access to 60 million research papers. Established 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan. Twitter.

Conferences, workshops, exhibitions, seminars

Interventions, research, projects


Literature, resources


  • Javna knjižnica / Public Library, eds. Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, and WHW, Zagreb: WHW & Multimedia Institute, 2015, 144 pp. Texts by McKenzie Wark, Tomislav Medak, Marcell Mars, Manar Zarroug, and Paul Otlet. (English)/(Croatian)
  • Davide Giorgetta and Valerio Nicoletti's interviews with Dušan Barok, Geert Lovink, Janneke Adema, Henry Warwick, 2015. (English)
  • Guerrilla Open Access, ed. Memory of the World, Coventry: Post Office Press, Rope Press, and Memory of the World, 2018, 34 pp. Texts by Memory of the World, Christopher Kelty, Balázs Bodó, and Laurie Allen. (English)
  • The Library Is Open, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB Special Issue 09), Jul 2019, 92 pp. Website. (English)
  • Aesthetics of the Commons, eds. Cornelia Sollfrank, Felix Stalder and Shusha Niederberger, Zurich: diaphanes, Jan 2021, 275 pp. (English)
  • Interfacing the Law, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB Special Issue 3), Jun 2017. (English)
  • Interfacing the Law, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB Special Issue 06), Jun 2018. (English)
  • The Library Is Open, Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute (XPUB Special Issue 09), Jun 2019. Publication PDF. (English)
  • Inverse Reader, ed. Dušan Barok, Monoskop, Sep 2019ff. A collection of 64 texts, talks and conversations about shadow, independent and artists’ digital libraries. [15] (English)

Essays, talks, statements, interviews

Journal issues and special sections


Academic research and writing

  • Roger Chartier, "Bibliothèques sans murs", ch. 3 in Chartier, L'ordre des livres, Aix-en-Provence: Alinea, 1992. (French)
    • "Libraries Without Walls", trans. Lydia Cochrane, Representations 42: "Future Libraries" (Spring 1993), pp 38-52; rev. as ch. 3 in Chartier, The Order of Books, Stanford University Press, 1994, pp 61-88, n108-112, PDF.

Further reading

Texts listed on the wiki pages of respective initiatives: UbuWeb, Aaaaarg, Monoskop, Library Genesis.

See also

Digital libraries, Art servers, Commons, Copyright activism, Internet activism