Welcome to our collections blog

Hello! Hannah here, Collections Access Officer at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre – thanks for visiting the blog. This is where we share some of the fascinating stories, important ideas and rare items in our collection, as well as updates and reflections on our work.

Hannah Niblett, Collections Access Officer

For those of you who don’t already know us, here’s a little bit of background.

We are an open access library, archive and resource centre focused on the issues of race, ethnic diversity, multiculturalism and migration. In our collection you will find everything from academic books to journals to government reports, oral histories to historical memorabilia to teaching resources – but all telling the story of race relations in Manchester, the UK and beyond.

Image of items from the collection

Here are a few of the things we aim to do:

  • Enable academic and independent research into racial and ethnic history and experience.
  • Support teachers in educating young people growing up in multicultural Britain.
  • Encourage confidence and pride in Black and ethnic minority people.
  • Equip all communities with the information and knowledge they need to promote an anti-racist world.

Sounds big doesn’t it? But this is why Lou Kushnick (below), Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, established the collection back in 1999; as a resource that would not only have huge research value, but also be instrumental in celebrating cultures and combating racism.

Lou Kushnick, founder

If you’re wondering about the unusual name, the Centre is named in memory of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, a 13 year old Bangladeshi boy who was murdered in the playground of a local Manchester school by a fellow pupil. So alongside our collections work we have always (through our Education Trust) done outreach work, helping to ensure this shocking level of ignorance about race and culture is never again seen in our schools and communities.

We are proud to be part of the University of Manchester Library’s special collections and a partner in the Manchester-wide Archives+ initiative.

As well as this blog you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook – my colleague Angela keeps these really busy with updates about our work and bulletins from the community,  libraries, education and race relations sectors.

You can visit our website www.racearchive.manchester.ac.uk

You can contact me directly with comments, questions, ideas, insights… hannah.niblett@manchester.ac.uk

And you can of course visit us in person and browse our lovely shelves. We are based in Manchester Central Library, on the Lower Ground Floor.

Image of our library


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