Birmingham historian contributes to national guidance on how museums can decolonise collections

Sadiah Qureshi
Dr Sadiah Qureshi is a member of the Decolonisation Guidance Working Group

A University of Birmingham researcher has contributed to a new national guidance which supports Decolonisation in Museums.

Dr Sadiah Qureshi, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the College of Arts and Law as a member of the Decolonisation Guidance Working Group of the Museums Association helped develop the guide following the findings of their 2019 Empowering Collections report which recognised the growing interest in decolonising museums’ collections.

The new guidance, Supporting Decolonisation in Museums, intends to empower more people to take action and lead change as museums address the legacy of British colonialism.

Supporting Decolonisation in Museums covers all areas of practice, with sections on collaboration, collections, workforce and more. The guidance offers prompts for thinking, discussion and action, recognising are many ways to decolonise museums.  It is intended to help people from across the museum sector to engage with decolonising practice, regardless of size or type of institution. 

Dr Sadiah Qureshi said: "In recent years, there has been growing interest in decolonising museums, from activists and practitioners. The new guidance from the Museums Association is a welcome first step towards making museums more welcoming places for all. The guidance provides everyone, from docents and curators to directors, with ways of representing and tackling the history and legacies of empire to new and existing audiences."

Commenting on the launch of the guide, Rachael Minott, Chair, Decolonisation Guidance Working Group said: “Working to collaboratively create a resource to support museums to be aware of the effects of the legacy of colonialism and to actively pursue decolonial practice has been an exciting and rewarding learning experience. The working group members generously shared their knowledge and experience and challenged one another throughout this process. I’m excited to keep learning and growing with the wider sector as they engage with this tool.”

More information on Supporting Decolonisation in Museums is available here 

Note to Editors:

For further information, please contact Hasan Salim Patel on +44 (0)7966 311 409 or out of hours office number on +44 (0)7580 744 943.

University of Birmingham

Ranked among the world’s leading universities, the University of Birmingham collaborates with partners across the world to produce ground-breaking research, deliver innovative teaching, and create opportunities for students and staff to gain international experience.