RBMS 2020 has ended
RBMS thanks Jonathan A Hill, Bookseller for sponsoring this Sched.
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, June 24 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Diversifying the Narrative in Special Collections: From Inventories to Metadata (and Everything In-between)

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Libraries were always created to serve the public, but if we are being honest, we have left out much of the public from our narratives. Like most cultural heritage institutions, libraries have excluded much of the population by creating classification structures that favor white, Eurocentric male narratives. With the acknowledgement that diversity is a strength and boon to research and scholarship, how can libraries tackle bringing representation to diverse communities that were excluded from acts such as publishing and researching during the time most of the collections were created, and how should we address the biases inherent in our collections while appraising, arranging, and cataloging books and archives?

After a short introduction, small groups will be moderated and centered on the various ways institutions are working towards replacing power structures with more inclusive dynamics. Examples of projects include user-generated metadata projects, inventorying rare books with the specific intention of identifying gaps in the collection, leveraging “star power” of authors to highlight the women associated with their success, determining how to diversify for unique collections, and forming alliances with local institutions. It is our hope that discussing these more specific projects will lead to robust discussion and questions about collection development, metadata, outreach, and research that will be relevant to all participants. The intention of this session is not to solve the problem of the lack of diversity in collections, but to spark ideas that are actionable, achievable, and can be brought back to participants’ home institutions.


Amanda Axel

Archivist & Librarian, Adler Planetarium

avatar for Beth Shoemaker

Beth Shoemaker

Rare Book Cataloger, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library, Emory University
avatar for Phoenix Alexander

Phoenix Alexander

Science Fiction Collections Librarian, Sydney Jones Library, University of Liverpool
Phoenix Alexander is the Science Fiction Collections Librarian at the University of Liverpool, Special Collections and Archives. He manages the largest collection of catalogued science fiction in Europe, including the archive of the Science Fiction Foundation. A scholar and writer... Read More →

Jessica BrodeFrank

Digital Collections Access Manager, Adler Planetarium

Ron McColl

Special Collections Librarian, West Chester University Libraries

Wednesday June 24, 2020 2:30pm - 4:00pm PDT