From 1996 to 1998, Renegade Library was a social practice and a collection of over 500 artist books. Originating with a mail art call for “collaborative mail art in book form,” this project brought over 700 artists from some 40 countries into dialogue. Developed for an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, the collection included zines, assemblings, multiples, add & pass, miniatures, visual poetry, small presses, and much more. The archive, now in 20 mail-able boxes, are being distributed to public libraries and artist book collections around the globe.

RL Map 2018

Renegade Library - Live Map (google maps)

Box 15 - RRD, Mexico

Box 15 - RRD (Red de Reproducción y Distribución) Pedro Antonio de los santos frente al no.80 Mexico City, Mexico

Box 12 - Libreri Ghana

Box 12 - Libreria Ghana PAMA House 114 Westlands Blvd West Legon Accra, Ghana

Box 9 - Wendy's Subway

Box 9 - Wendy's Subway 379 Bushwick Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11206

Box 5 - IAIA Library

Box 5 - Institute of American Indian Arts Library 83 Avan Nu Po Road Santa Fe, NM 87508 UNITED STATES

Box 6 - Artexte

Box 6 - Artexte 2, Sainte-Catherine East, room 301 Montreal, Quebec H2X 1K4 CANADA ​

Box 3 & Crista Dahl

Box 3 - Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive VIVO Media Arts Centre 2625 Kaslo St. Vancouver, BC V5M3G9 CANADA

11 - Habana

Box 11 - Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales San Ignacio No. 352 entre Teniente Rey y Muralla Habana Vieja CUBA

Box 1 & 2 (Brandon, Manitoba)

Box 1 - Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba 710 Rosser Avenue, Unit 2 Brandon, Manitoba R7A 0K9 CANADA Box 2 - Also As Well Too 460 Portage Avenue, 2nd floor Winnipeg, Manitoba CANADA

Box 12 - Emily Carr Library

Box 4 - Ron Burnett Library + Learning Commons (Emily Carr University) 520 E 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 0H2 CANADA

Videos from recipients of Renegade Library boxes:

RRD collective receives RL Box #15 in 2018. (Thank you for making and sharing this record, RRD!)

About this video - In April, 2018 Jackline Awoko, a Kenyan-born Canadian Social Worker, delivered Box 12 to the wonderful Libreria Ghana. Awoko has been an enthusiastic "spectator" of Renegade Library and an occasional participant in Lois Klassen's other social art projects (see - In her presentation of this box, Awoko offered an inspired summary of Renegade Library's aims:

“…When [the artists] were thinking about books it was almost as resistance –to popular culture and what we know about art. It’s almost like they were saying, this [the art scene] is oppression, and we are resistant. So, it’s our own way of naming our own work [as art]. It doesn’t matter what you call it, [what’s important] is what we call it.

“It’s my honour and my privilege to be a delivery person. I am almost like a spectator. I come from the sidelines and I look. And in the process of looking, I happen to be in Ghana. So, it is my privilege to present this to you.”

Thank you also to Roxanne Bougsin Koffi who received the box on behalf of Sylvia Arthur, the founder of Libreria Ghana --"Ghana’s first subscription model library dedicated to providing readers with high-quality contemporary international and African literature."


Thank you also to Alhassan Iddi for capturing this on video.

More about Sylvia Arthur is found here - and here -