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Diversifying our collections

How we are supporting University strategies around diversity and decolonisation

We are working with students and staff on our collections to reflect the diversity of the University’s population and to celebrate the various cultures that are reflected in the Warwick community.

This is in accordance with changes in the curriculum and in support of the University Strategy, Excellence with Purpose, with its focus on inclusion, the University’s Social Inclusion/Equality Objectives and the Students’ Union campaigns to Liberate Teaching and Learning.


In support of this we aim to:

  • Diversify our collections
  • Promote diverse voices in existing collections, including special collections such as the Ethnicity and Migration Collection, as well as surfacing materials in the wider Library
  • Encourage the development of collections to ensure unheard voices are represented, working with academic colleagues on decolonising the curriculum and encouraging suggestions for new titles from the wider community
  • Support the critical appraisal and evaluation of sources of information through information skills development to ensure different viewpoints are recognised and understood
  • Encourage the academic, social and creative use of our collections
  • Promote Library spaces as inclusive spaces where all communities feel represented and at home

Work on this is on-going and there is much to do. We are keen to work with students, staff and community groups to take this forward. So what have we done so far and how can you get involved?

Collections

Ethnicity and Migration Collection

We have catalogued and we host the Ethnicity and Migration Collection and are keen to work with academics and students on the use of the collection for research and within the curriculum.

Check out our online exhibition put together from the rich resources in the Ethnicity and Migration Collection.

Modern Records Centre

The MRC has digitised a large collection of materials on race, including holdings on West Indian migration (1948-58), race riots of the 1950s and 1960s, South Asian and Ugandan Asian migration in the 1970s, the rise of the National Front and the anti-fascist response, and race, policing and the riots of the 1980s.


Reading Lists

We have worked with colleagues to develop and promote reading lists to aid understanding of diversity issues:

  • Black Lives Matter reading list
  • Stonewall 50
    • In collaboration with the LGBTUA+ Taskforce, the Library put together a social media campaign, a display and a Stonewall 50 reading list to mark fifty years since the Stonewall riots and developments in LGBTUA+ history and culture
  • Trans and Queer Pedagogy
    • In collaboration with the Trans and Queer Pedagogy Learning Circle, we have created a reading list which offers a starting point for those interested in learning more about Queer history, theory and developing an inclusive approach to Trans and Queer pedagogy

Displays

  • We regularly host physical displays on diversity themes, including co-created interventions with the academic and student community. Examples include displays for Stonewall 50, Black History Month and other celebrations
  • We have curated several physical displays in the MRC on race and held events with local community groups – for example, the Warwick Open Education series
  • The MRC recently hosted a virtual display for LGBT+ History Month

Readings

Since Covid, the Library has started a series of videos called Read for Resilience, where members of community read a piece of prose or poetry on a particular theme, such as a weekly series for LGBT+ History Month

Academic Staff

We are looking to work with academic colleagues on diversifying the collections and curriculum. If you are looking for assistance with developing collections to support an evolving curriculum, or if you want to embed some of our special collections or archives into your teaching, please consult your Academic Support Librarian to explore how we can work together on this.

Students

The Library is keen to get your suggestions for ‘more books’ to add to the collection that cover unheard voices and under-represented communities. Please give us details and we’ll see what we can do to make the Library collections more inclusive.

The Warwick Community

We are keen to support the academic, social and creative use of our collections. If you are interested in working with us contact one of the team to brainstorm ideas.

Links and resources

Check out our rare books and special collections. A database of rare and early publications dating from the 17th century to present day.

The Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Process in HE Learning Circle are doing important work evaluating the sector and identifying areas for change to improve the community for BAME students and staff.

The Trans & Queer Pedagogy Learning Circle engages in important discussions that focus on gender-diverse and trans-inclusive teaching and pedagogy.