Ways into the Collection: Databases

cartoon books and globe on shelvesResearch Skills Series

By Alison Newby

Last time we discussed the importance of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre (AIU Centre) and its collections, touching on some of the realities of archives and archival research, and looking at the kinds of questions we need to ask ourselves before engaging with an archive collection. This time we’ll be moving on to begin checking out the ways relevant Centre resources can be identified and accessed. 

There are three ways into the collection:

  • Databases  (including subject area resource lists)
  • Human interface  (speaking to the librarian and/or Collections Access Officer) [coming soon]
  • Serendipity (just going in and browsing) [coming soon]

Which one you start with is very much up to you and your preferred style. This time I’ll be introducing the different database options at your disposal. I’ll be looking at the human interface and serendipity in future posts.

So you’ll be able to dip into this post to find information that’s particularly interesting to you, I’ll be covering these subjects under the following headings:

  1. Databases – subject area resource lists
  2. Databases featuring the Centre’s resources
  3. Building up a relevant list of Centre resources
  4. What to do next

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Bending the Rules: Archiving the Manchester BME Communities collection

Our freelance archivist Heather Roberts has been working her magic on our large, and until now slightly unwieldy, Manchester Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities collection. Here she reflects on the process and reveals some of the thinking behind her work:

Arranging the Manchester BME Communities collection was an interesting adventure in flexing the rules. As well as deciding what to keep and what not to keep, organising the remaining material was a bit tricky.

the picture shows a row of archive files with colourful papers sticking out of the sides. the label reads 'refugees and immigration'

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