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Changing the narrative: championing inclusive collection development: Other UK-HEI projects

A guide produced as part of the "Changing the narrative: championing diversity in collection development" project, running January 2020 to December 2021, led by Helen Worrell.


Across many Higher Education Institutions there are initiatives to diversify and decolonise institutions, curricula and libraries.  This page gives an overview of projects going on nationally.  It is not an exhaustive list, but instead showcases initiatives trying a variety of methods.  This article provides a good overview of decolonising the library.

Overviews of:
Institution-wide projects
Curriculum redesign
Reader recommendations
Engaging marginalized voices

Institution-wide projects

Institutional projects with wide-ranging aims and actions:

Decolonise the LSE
Decolonise UKC
Cambridge University Library: Decolonising through critical librarianship
Closing the attainment gap: a Kingston University led collaboration addressing the BME attainment gap including University of Wolverhampton, University of Hertfordshire, De Montfort University, University of Greenwich and University College London .
University of Manchester statement on Diversifying Collections and Practices at The University of Manchester Library

Curriculum redesign

The following institutions have projects examining reading lists with the aims of decolonising or diversifying reading lists .  The list is not exhaustive, but an overview of projects found when researching for the 'Changing the narrative' project.  The Black Lives Matter ORLO list also has a section of readings on decolonising the curriculum. 

"Why is my curriculum white?” a national campaign from the NUS, highlighting the dominance of colonial thought in our curricula, with the focus on white, Eurocentric writers.

Kent have developed a 'diversity mark' for their reading lists that displays in Talis Aspire.  There is further information on Kent's work in decolonising reading lists in this article: Democracy, Diversity and Decolonisation: Staff-student partnerships in a reading list review .  Information for academics is also available here: Diversify your reading list - Help - University of Kent.

UCL have a 'Liberating the curriculum' working group: 
This article describes UCL and the Institute of Education's methodology for auditing reading lists: Schucan Bird, K. & Pitman, L., 2019. How diverse is your reading list? Exploring issues of representation and decolonisation in the UK. Higher Education.  They have also done extensive work on the Medical School curriculum.  A student-led project in their Anthropology Dept is highlighted here: Diverse voices brought into Anthropology reading lists by student-led project | Teaching & Learning - UCL – University College London .  There is a 'Curriculum health check' document available here: ucl_inclusive_curriculum_healthcheck_2018.pdf 

UAL have issued guidance here for academics interested in decolonising their reading lists. 

The University of Cambridge Sociology department have a 'Decolonise Sociology working group'.  The group formed in 2017 to with a set of aims focussed on six areas for improvement that were identified by departmental staff and students.  More information on the working group can be found here

University's of Huddersfield's Broaden my Bookshelf reading list toolkit

Kingston University's Inclusive Collection Framework gives a list of prompts for developing an inclusive curricula. 


Reader recommendations

The following libraries have invited reader recommendations or had targeting campaigns to diversifying their collections:

Brunel has a #LiberatedLibrary campaign:

Goldsmiths has a Liberate our Library campaign:

Lancaster invited suggestions to make their collections inclusive of margianlised communities

Engaging marginalised groups

The following projects have engaged marginalized groups with library collections:

UAL worked with students and staff to create a Zine on Decolonising the Arts Curriculum: