Research Libraries UK

Inclusive Collections, Inclusive Libraries – Dorothy Berry, Smithsonian

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Inclusive Collections, Inclusive Libraries is an RLUK programme of events that aims to foster conversation around decolonisation and inclusive practice in collecting, describing, presenting, and engaging with content in research library collections. It seeks to raise awareness about the opportunities and challenges of dealing with, contextualising, and engaging with offensive collections while also identifying and sharing examples of good practice.


Surfacing History: Case Studies in Digital Discovery of African American Cultural Heritage
Dorothy Berry, Digital Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

18 October 2022, 15:00 – 16:00 (BST), 10:00 – 11:00 (EDT), 07:00 – 08:00 (PDT), 16:00 – 17:00 (CEST), 22:00 – 23:00 (AWST)

The recent wellspring of interest in surfacing marginalised peoples’ histories has led to various projects across GLAM institutions focused on reevaluating description with user-centred discovery at the centre. By highlighting projects to reimaging description of racially inflammatory materials, and to increase access and awareness of African American cultural heritage materials at predominately White institutions, Dorothy Berry hopes to spark conversation around expanding access and reimagining descriptive possibilities.

Dorothy Berry is a specialist in the description and discovery of African American cultural heritage. With experience leading projects at major public and private institutions in the United States, she has become a highly called upon speaker and writer around themes of marginalised peoples’ histories in unexpected collections. Her work has been published in the proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, up//root, the Public Domain Review, and Lapham’s Quarterly.

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