By Jemima Sims
Library Assistant in the Main University Library
Founded in 2004, LGBTQIA+ History month is upon us, and the theme is “Behind the Lens”. In February 2023, the UK will celebrate the people behind the scenes of stage and screen, such as costume designers, composers, playwrights, screenwriters, make-up artists and many more. Queer actors and actresses are gaining more visibility than ever, however the people off-screen are often unknown, and their contributions are huge.
The University Library have put together a display, a reading list and some social media posts to celebrate these talented and creative people, beginning with some of the most exciting costume designers in history; Adrian, Orry-Kelly and Patricia Field.
For Black History Month 2022, the Library has two great activities for you to join in with! Everyone is invited to join in with these events.
Connected Heritage & Reimagining Lincolnshire: Black History Month Wikithon (in collaboration with the Library)
Reimagining Lincolnshire: Black History Month Wikithon logo used above was designed by Oonagh Monaghan and features art created by ‘Ccrow Illustration’ (Kes Whyte), University of Lincoln graduate, 2022 and photos from Reimagining Lincolnshire’s collection.
You are invited to learn Wikipedia basics and make some edits to highlight some of the stories and people with connections to Lincolnshire uncovered by the research team at Reimagining Lincolnshire. This event is a part of Wikimedia UK Connected Heritage project, which is funded by DCMS and The National Lottery through The Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.
Editathons aim to address the underrepresentation of people from the Global South, women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ people in Wikipedia entries and among contributors.
The event will take place on Thursday 20th October 1pm-4.30pm online via Zoom and there will also be email communication before the event for all those registered to make sure attendees are prepared.
The Library Subject Librarians Hope Williard and Oonagh Monaghan have been active in researching decolonising initiatives at other Higher Education libraries. Attendance at conferences and liaison with librarians across the sector has enabled us to produce our own University of Lincoln decolonising guide for academic staff and students. The next step is to make the work we are already doing more visible. The aim is to embed decoloniality into the physical space of the library. The prospective projects have been grouped into the following four areas:
Revealing coloniality of existing collections
Embracing and extending decoloniality
In addition to new resources, sinage and use of the winning design in the recent competition, a permanent space in the Library has been allocated and we are now at the stage where we have the plans in place and materials ordered or arrived and we hope that the space will develop over the first term of 2022.
We want to reveal coloniality with the aim to share with our students, staff, and library community the ways that our practices of organising, displaying, and sharing information are shaped by colonial worldviews and outlooks.
We want to challenge coloniality by drawing on existing resources and highlightingnew developments in the library, this strand aimsto spotlight information and resources which challenge the colonial worldviews, allowing those who interact with it to broaden their knowledge and perspectives.
We want to research coloniality and collaborate, support, and promote research within the university relating to decolonisation. A particular focus of this area is the emerging project on zines, and efforts to actively engage with the university’s student as producer initiatives and internal funding schemes.
In the final strand we want to embrace and extend decolonialityand propose initiatives which would allow library staff and the wider university community to extend their knowledge of decoloniality and apply this knowledge in the workplace and beyond.
Part of this work is about developing awareness in the physical space of the Library and developing a dedicated Decolonisation and EDI area for display and promotion. Oonagh Monaghan has collaborated with two Interior Architecture academics, Raymund Konigk and Zakkiya Khan on the design of the area to showcase:
resources in the Library that show the diverse range of voices already in the collection.
Reveal and raise awareness of historical and colonial injustices which are embedded in the Library systems
Provide a space for materials that highlight issues of social justice and underrepresented voices.
showcase the new zines collection
Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
(The Reimagining Lincolnshire Project who have a blog Reimagining Lincolnshire – Discovering and sharing untold stories has been engaging with local people and organisations to uncover and celebrate the marginalised and forgotten stories of our city’s past with the hope that we can imagine an inclusive future. Public space can become a bridge between past and present, a site where differences are celebrated by breaking down barriers and starting conversations. It also sits alongside the decolonising agenda at the University of Lincoln which aims to challenge the language we use and the ways in which we teach and learn. The project aims to tell the marginalised stories in new and creative radical ways, challenging existing hierarchies and oppressions that are the result of colonial legacy.
In collaboration with Librarians Hope Williard and Oonagh Monaghan, there are two projects for 2022/23.
For Black History Month, the team have partnered with Wikimedia UK to run an online Wikimedia Heritage Project ‘Wikithon’.
Secondly, Librarian, Oonagh Monaghan has teamed up with Dr Victoria Araj and College of Arts Technician, Jantze Holmes on a ‘Reimagining Zine Project’.
Academic Subject Librarian, Oonagh Monaghan has been the lead on a very popular competition in collaboration with School of Design students within the College of Arts.
The competition was initiated as an idea for internal use by the library that grew into a larger project with input from colleagues from the University-wide ‘Decolonising@Lincoln Steering Group’.
The decolonisation of Higher Education is a global movement. At the University of Lincoln it involves recognising, examining and attempting to address the detrimental legacies of colonialism on knowledge, pedagogy, ways of working and the campus environment.
The work is contributing to raising awareness of how the voices and perspectives of Black, Indigenous and other non-White people have been marginalized, and to include a broader range of voices, ideas, approaches and intellectual perspectives in teaching, learning, research and scholarship.
The competition brief asked students to create a recognisable and memorable image that would promote and highlight parts of the University Library collection which help amplify marginalised voices.
The winning image will also be used on other material in the Library, across the University and in its publicity material as the overarching theme for Decolonising@Lincoln. This includes the Decolonising@Lincoln website which will launch in Autumn 2022.
The Library would like to mark the loss of Professor Brian Winston, the Lincoln Chair, who passed away over Easter.
Brian made a significant contribution to media studies, with his books, journal articles and audio-visual material encouraging debate across several courses at the University but most particularly in the Lincoln School of Film and Media and School of English and Journalism within the College of Arts.
Brian will be sorely missed by library staff as he was a regular library supporter.
By Joshua Sewell (volunteer in the University Library)
Lincoln Cathedral holds a lot of history for a structure composed mostly of stone and glass, a history that goes back nearly a thousand years. Once the tallest structure in the world and formerly one of the resting places of an original copy of the Magna Carta, the building is no stranger to events and possessions of historical importance. But those stories have been told forever and evermore. What we want to find are those tales that are less well known, but still of high value. One such tale finds its home in the Russell Chantry area of the Cathedral, and its events took place not so long ago. Inside the Chantry can be found a set of murals that adorn the walls and hold a significance that many may not be aware of. The murals have been open to public viewing since 1990, but their existence predates this by more than 3 decades. Here a question of great interest presents itself, why were the murals hidden from public view for all that time?
Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Change takes a long time, but it does happen and that fight for change also needs people behind it to fight for what is right and fair and to end discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. What we need to avoid, is for the change to be a negative and regressive pulling back of hard fought-for rights.
For 2022, the Library has a great new reading list which includes many new titles that have just arrived in the Library. In addition to new titles, there are also examples of other books and resources which link to the theme ‘Politics in Art: ‘The Arc Is Long’
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.