Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Ethnography in the Times of Empires: resources and collections

Fri31  Mar12:30pm(90 mins)
Main Building Room 466


John Bates3; Ekaterina Rogatchevskaia4; Eleanor Peers2; Olga Topol4; Anna Malenova1
1 University of Exeter, UK;  2 Scott Polar Research Institute, UK;  3 University of Glasgow, UK;  4 British Library, UK


The focus of this roundtable discussion is to look into the library resources that can advance postcolonial and decolonisation work in Eurasian and East European Studies. Such work has been identified as a priority in many academic libraries in the UK and worldwide. The panel participants will discuss their work on collections in their custody from the perspective of the history of ethnographic research, which was a tool for the implementation of colonial goals. Collecting, preserving and a critical review of materials on the history of the multifaceted knowledge generation about ethnic others can help to identify key areas of contestation in managing, developing and promoting our collections. This panel will also inform researchers about the wealth of material available to them in the UK. We will talk about the British Library historic collections of works on ethnography originated in the Russian Empire (Ekaterina Rogatchevskaia); contributions of the Polish ethnographers to the national body of science and to the Russian and British Imperial narrative (Olga Topol); unexpected links between the UK and the Soviet Empire, and particularly between Arctic Indigenous communities and UK researchers (Eleanor Peers); and contextualising a digital photographic archive of Siberian Indigenous peoples within the British Library collections (Anna Maslenova).