Archives, libraries and museum collections are places where knowledge is stored, negotiated and contested. MBC convened a panel on archives, libraries and collections at our Changing the Narrative event at The Africa Centre in January. You can listen to an audio recording of the panel here.
Panellists; JC Niala – African Collections Researcher at the Horniman Museum who is coordinating the project Rethinking Relationships and Building Trust Around African Collections; Nicky Sugar – Bristol Archives and member of SCOLMA (UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa); Onyeka Igwe – Artist-filmmaker working with colonial era archives; Paul O’Connor – Director, Pat Finucane Centre; Amara Thornton – Research Officer at the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology (University of Reading); Marion Wallace – Lead Africa Curator at the British Library.
The discussion ranged from issues around accessibility, the kinds of knowledge represented and the potential of archives as evidence in legal cases. Many challenges were raised, such as the inherent colonial format of archives, however the huge potential for facilitating understanding was also recognised.