Library Services’ Subject Guides Group has just published a new interdisciplinary research guide for Black Studies that aims to draw attention to and aid the discovery of Black scholarship in the collections of UCL Libraries. The guide has been created in response to feedback from students and academics who have reported difficulties in isolating the work of Black authors, artists, filmmakers, and other creators in our collections.
The structured, subject based arrangement of the print materials in our libraries does not allow for the creation of physically grouped, interdisciplinary collections; the new Black Studies Subject Guide attempts to address this by drawing collections together virtually. Obviously, our collections are not limited to print materials and a key function of the guide is to integrate physical and electronic resources, listing core databases and reference works, primary and secondary sources. Key sub-sections of the print collections are highlighted, for those wishing to browse the shelves. The Audio-Visual section directs users to our growing range of film streaming databases, including curated playlists available via Kanopy and BoB National.
It would be impossible to list every relevant book, journal or film in our collections so, alongside the links to major resources, we provide advice on literature searching, for example using subject headings in Explore, and link to our excellent existing training materials at LibrarySkills@UCL.
The guide also features a range of starting points for further research. This includes highlighting the work of individuals via the Focus on a Thinker and Spotlight sections, with direct links to relevant Explore searches and, where appropriate, films in Kanopy and BoB National. The New Books section highlights recently acquired titles by Black authors and on topics of relevance to the Black diaspora. Hopefully, these features replicate a browsing experience and aid serendipitous discovery.
The creation of this interdisciplinary guide is closely aligned with the work of the Library Liberating the Collections (LLTC) Steering Group. We hope it might also serve as an aid for academics in diversifying their reading lists and Liberating the Curriculum.
To help us shape it further, we welcome feedback and suggestions for content from all LCCOS colleagues. Initial focus is on the Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences, but we welcome suggestions for content in all disciplines. Please do let us know what you think.
The Black Studies Subject Guide sub-group