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Anti-Racist Practice In Collection Management

Introduction

This page contains resources for anti-racist practice in collection management and databases. These resources address the connection between collections and chattel slavery, empire, and colonialism and how these systems can perpetuate structural racism.

Databases

The Making African Connections Digital Archive researches historic African collections held in Sussex and Kent museums with the aim of furthering both conceptual and applied debates over decolonial practice in public institutions. 

Art Hx is a searchable, digital database of objects and images of the historical and ongoing entanglements between art, race and medicine in the spaces of the former British empire. 

Digital cultural colonialism: measuring bias in aggregated digitized content held in Google Arts and Culture by Melissa Terras looks at issues of representation in Google Arts and Culture.  

Collections management systems

Dreaming of a New Collections Management System is a Balboa Park Online Collaborative series of webinars that looks at the challenges with collections management systems. 

Episode 1- Dreaming of a New Collections Management System  

Episode 2- Dreaming of a New Collections Management System 

In Documentation and Decolonisation Ananda Rutherford discusses what approaches can be employed to engage critically with museum documentation and object records, in order to tackle structural bias and the hegemony of traditional western, colonial, heteronormative, ableist norms of knowledge production and practice. 

The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance are people and purpose-oriented, reflecting the crucial role of data in advancing Indigenous innovation and self-determination. These principles complement the existing FAIR principles encouraging open and other data movements to consider both people and purpose in their advocacy and pursuits. 

This recorded session by Abeer Eladany for the Collections Trust looks at dealing with legacy catalogue descriptions. 

The Language Dilemma: Ethical cataloguing and inclusive description in practice– a talk by Carissa Chew for The Collections Trust. 

Dr Melissa Bennett talks about her experience of decolonising collections in this recorded talk for CILIP, what it means, and the challenges libraries and archives face in getting it done.