Anti-racist practice examples in museums
This page contains resources that give examples, advice, and ask questions of anti-racist practice in museums and galleries in Scotland, the UK, and internationally.
Museum projects and exhibitions
A selection of projects in partnership, led, or involving museums in Scotland, UK, and internationally that look at anti-racist practice in museums.
Legacies of Slavery in Glasgow Museums and Collections is a site that examines objects and documents in Glasgow Museums’ collection that relate to slavery and Glasgow’s links with it.
Black History Month Scotland Archives co-ordinated by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) has a range of topics spanning 20 years of Black History Month Scotland. Museums and galleries can get involved with Black History Month Scotland’s programme.
Reframed- Conversations about Heritage and Inclusion at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Events that reframe the College’s heritage collections in new ways to address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion. Read the MGS Case study about Reframed- Conversations about Heritage and Inclusion..
Transnational Scotland: Reconnecting Heritage Stories through Museum Object Collections explores the transnational history of Scotland through the objects of its historical global trades in cotton, jute, sugar, and herring.
Black British Museum Project is a project creating Britain’s first museum celebrating Black British history, art and culture.
Black Cultural Archives Digital Showcase Space has a range of digital storytelling projects exploring topics such as Windrush, Black British marketing and design, and the Brixton defence campaign.
The Mixed Museum is a digital museum and archive that contributes to widening knowledge about Black and ethnic minority British history through sharing and preserving the social history of racial mixing in Britain for future generations.
The Race and Ethnicity Hub is free learning from the Open University. It offers fresh perspectives on race, racism and ethnicity through free courses, articles, interactives and audio/visual materials.
In ’Displays of Power: A Natural History of Empire’ The Grant Museum explores how its collection foregrounds the legacy of empire.
Afro Historyscapes are podcasts from the Horniman Museum and Gardens that share the research of their curators, project team and Community Action Researchers to give a fresh perspective on African history.
Slavery: Ten true stories is an exhibition by the Rijks Museum that takes the form of personal and real-life stories rather than abstract concepts.
Guides and examples
The Museums Association new guidance, Supporting Decolonisation in Museums, aims to empower more people to take action and lead change as museums address the legacy of British colonialism.
Top 10 tips to start decolonising your practice - Tehmina Goskar, Director, Curatorial Research Centre
Black Lives Matter Charter For the UK heritage sector - Culture& state actions for arts and heritage sectors to make clear their position on Black Lives Matter by committing to make changes in order to decolonise their relationship with the UK Black community and their workforce, collections and programmes.
Philosophy- Curatorial Research Centre looks at their 50% model of a curator, part knowledge creator, part communicator that works to narrow the gap between creating knowledge and communication.
Radical Hope events and webinars at the Pitt Rivers Museum - Led by researchers and global indigenous community partners from around the world who are involved in unpicking colonial practices, the Radical Hope series includes topics such as the display of human remains, returns, equitable interpretation of cultures, inclusive curriculum and representation.
Social Media and Decolonising Scottish Heritage was a SHSMG event with Ourchives that discussed how social media fits with decolonial practice in museums. The resource gives ten clear actions for museums to take on and offline.
Tackling inequalities case study with Powell-Cotton Museum looks at their programme that is committed to telling a wider story, to enable others to share in that narrative and be a part of it’s making.
A selection of discussions, articles, and thinking around anti-racist practice in museums.
Curating Discomfort article - Zandra Yeaman, Curator of Discomfort at The Hunterian.
Addressing The Legacies Of Empire And Slavery article - Miles Greenwood, Curator of legacies of slavery and empire at Glasgow Museums.
Museums and Black Lives Still Matter video - Culture& in collaboration with the Museums Association host a joint UK and US symposium on how museums are responding to racism and what needs to happen next.
Video Hub - Video content from the Museums Association exploring decolonial practice in museums. Hear from practitioners, changemakers and advocates of decolonisation in the heritage sector.
Imagining A Museum Of British Colonialism recorded webinar. In this video a panel speaks about confronting Britain’s past and its heritage of colonialism and slavery through imagining what a Museum of British Colonialism might look like.
Museums as Predators- American Perceptionalism is an article that explores how community participation can be exploited and undermined by institutions through a series of decisions.
Necrography: Death-Writing in the Colonial Museum- coordinated by Dan Hicks for the British Art Studies conversation series.
The colonial project of gender: Thinking through museums, creative representation and research imperatives webinar by A/Prof Sandy O’Sullivan for ARCSHS.
Re-imagining Museums As Portals article - yaa addae
‘spaces that are not designed for those ways’ (2019): Indigenisation and radical trust in museums is a recorded conversation between Alexandra Alberda, the first Indigenous Perspectives Curator at Manchester Museum and Shelley Angelie Saggar, PhD researcher and Collections Researcher at the Science Museum.