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Royal Holloway and Black Cultural Archives join together in five-year partnership

Royal Holloway and Black Cultural Archives join together in five-year partnership

  • Date19 September 2023

Royal Holloway and Black Cultural Archives (BCA) have entered a five-year partnership to make the teaching and learning of inclusive, shared histories available for everyone.

Black Cultural Archives (1)

Lisa Anderson, Director of BCA with Royal Holloway's Giuliana Pieri, Vice Principal (international), Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

The University will work with BCA to identify and support new collaborative research projects to increase the understanding of BCA’s collections, and support the development of future education, exhibition and events programmes. 

The new partnership will be a resilient, flexible and entrepreneurial project, which intends to carve out a new model of university-archive partnership, built on joint values and objectives, and a sharing of knowledge, expertise, and resources.

Royal Holloway was founded to provide equity in the opportunity to learn, to transform lives through education and to create positive change. Through challenge-led transformative research and inclusive education, along with impactful partnerships, the University aims to develop a deep sense of purpose within individuals, disciplines and its community as a whole.  

Black Cultural Archives, the home of Black British history, is a nationally important archive whose mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK, and to inspire and give strength to individuals, communities, and society.

Royal Holloway students and academics will collaborate with experts at BCA to research concepts of ‘political blackness’ and Black feminism in the late-twentieth century, Black Arts as a space for articulating cultural identities, and to explore how these and other archive collections can stimulate creative responses among adults and children.

BCA and Royal Holloway will also collaborate to create innovative and exciting digital resources to support the teaching of more inclusive British history in schools, including interactive digital micro-textbooks, timelines and exhibitions.

Dr Matthew Smith, from the School of Humanities at Royal Holloway, said: “We are very excited to start our partnership with BCA and to support the important work it does to promote the inclusive teaching and learning of British history.

“From collaborative research projects and events to the co-production of resources for schools, the opportunities for collaboration are endless, for both our students and staff. We also hope, through our partnership, to develop new, more equitable, responsive, and sustainable models for how universities and archives can work together to deliver impactful work for the communities we serve.”

Lisa Anderson, Director of Black Cultural Archives, added: “We are delighted by the opportunity our partnership with Royal Holloway affords us to expand our educational mission, promoting a fuller, more inclusive vision of British history to a broader range of people.

“BCA founder member Len Garrison, himself a history graduate, poet, press photographer and community activist, established projects in the 1970s to disseminate anti-racist classroom resources nationally, and to celebrate young, creative writing talent. We hope our partnership will honour and build upon this legacy for the benefit of both the University’s students and staff, and BCA communities.”

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