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Over the past few years, cultural heritage institutions, including research libraries from across the UK and beyond, have intensified their efforts to decolonise their collections and practices. Developing more inclusive collections, where a variety of voices are represented, is necessary to create a culture where equity, inclusivity, and diversity are the driving forces and where scholarship and learning can thrive.

However, there is a need for honest discussions about what drives decolonisation in institutions, how initiatives are delivered, the successes and failures, which can lead in identifying current gaps and needs in the sector.

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

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.