Antiracism Resources: Meta-Resources for Antiracism Work 

Mon, 11/16/2020 - 11:25

For the past few months, we've shared and summarized specific resources that relate to antiracism work across all aspects of archives, museums, and libraries. In today's post, we hope to broaden the scope and showcase some of the wider organizations that have compiled excellent resources and are working to expand the conversation. These encompass everything from structured syllabi to crowd-sourced lists. Professional organizations and local professional networks are also great resources to turn to when seeking additional information. For those looking to expand their reading list, here are just a few of the comprehensive resource listings available.

Two museum-focused lists of resources come from MASS Action (Museum As Site for Social Action) and the Museums Association of New York (MANY). MASS Action is a collaborative project to help museums "act and build on commitments to equity and social change, creating more inclusive practices in their own institutions and the field at large.” On the MASS Action Website, your organization can complete a Readiness Assessment to prepare for equity work and then use their comprehensive Toolkit to more deeply understand the essential theories of social justice work in museums and collecting organizations, as well as to build out a committed practice. MASS Action also lists other blogs and additional resources to follow, rounding out their informational and community focus. Similarly, the MANY website features a list of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) resources. First shared at MANY’s 2019 Museum Institute, "Access and Identity: Leading for the Future," this list features readings, articles, projects, and initiatives from BIPOC and white allies that highlight different ways to continue learning and move forward productively.

More broad, but extremely comprehensive, is a crowd-sourced document called the Black Excellence in LIS Syllabus. With over 300 resources to read and review, from the past ~80 years of scholarship, there is guaranteed to be useful information for individuals and organizations seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the history of racism and bias as it impacts the cultural heritage field. If you are interested in an even more base-level conversation around comprehending race, antiracism, and their impacts, the Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources is a good place to start. This document was created with the “goal to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work.”

What resources have you found particularly helpful in your antiracism work thus far? Where have you been able to start making progress? Is there anything you are using or learning from that feels like it could be valuable for other cultural heritage institutions? Please comment below, email us at, or connect with us on the DHPSNY Facebook page or DHPSNY Community Facebook Group

This is part of a biweekly blog series on sharing information, promoting resources, encouraging discussion, and amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) doing antiracism work in archives, museums, history sites, and library special collections. DHPSNY is committed to supporting the diverse network of collecting institutions that safeguard and ensure access to historical records and library research materials across New York State. To learn more, visit our first blog post in the series.


Image: MASS Action held on October 10th-12th, 2018, MASS Action.


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