Black history project launched

Black history project launched


Written by: IRR News Team

The Institute of Race Relations has been awarded a grant of £49,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create an educational Black History Collection.

The grant has been made to allow the IRR, which has been collecting materials created by Black organisations and/or on Black struggles since the 1950s, to form these into a coherent collection, increase accessibility to all the holdings and interest young people in Britain’s Black heritage.

‘We are absolutely delighted’, Jenny Bourne told IRR News. ‘Although we know we’ve got incredibly rare and exciting documents at IRR, they are in all kinds of different files and boxes at the moment and so cannot readily be used. Because we’ve not had money for the library in the last thirty years, we’ve not been able to preserve things properly, let alone catalogue and arrange things. Now we have the chance to create a professional Black History Collection, and to digitise its catalogue. That should help many more people know about our holdings. But we are also going to create from the Collection an educational resource for use in Citizenship and History teaching. That way we hope to interest young people – from all ethnic groups – in Britain’s Black and anti-racist heritage. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for so long.’

The IRR, the first race body in the UK, was set up in 1958 and had the largest and most comprehensive library collection in Europe on race relations throughout the world. In 2005, the main collection of books, journals and pamphlets moved to the University of Warwick. The IRR retained all the materials it had collected over time on ‘early Black settlement’ and different struggles against racial injustice.

The project will run for 18 months and involve the preservation, arranging and cataloguing of journals, pamphlets, posters, photos, leaflets and other ephemera on Black struggles between 1950 and the mid-1980s.

Volunteering opportunity

If you are interested in volunteering to help preserve the Collection -for which training will be provided – please contact Jenny Bourne at the IRR.

Job vacancy
  • Project Worker for Black History Collection
  • 18-month post at £25,000 pa

The worker will be responsible for creating from IRR’s holdings of journals, pamphlets, posters and ephemera a coherent Black History Collection, ensuring its accessibility to the general public and encouraging its use in educational settings. Tasks will include sorting, organising, preserving and cataloguing the collection, training volunteers in preservation, producing a downloadable educational resource and arranging educational workshops on the collection and on Black British heritage.

For further information, open the application pack or call Jenny on 020 7837 0041. The closing date for applications is 23 July 2007 and interviews will be held on 13 August 2007.

Related links

Job vacancy: Project Worker for Black History Collection

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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