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Glossary And Sector Terms For Empire And Slavery


This page contains resources that look at the language of chattel slavery, empire, and colonialism and how its use in museums and galleries perpetuates structural racism. These resources are starting points for the interrogation of language commonly used within the heritage sector and recognise that language will continue to evolve.

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The Anti-Racist Glossary

This resource from The Anti-Racist Educator contains working definitions of terms used to talk about racism and support your anti-racist work.

Word Choices In Museums And Galleries

Words Matter: An Unfinished Guide To Word Choices In The Cultural Sector composed by the National Museum for World Cultures (Tropenmuseum, Afrikamuseum, Museum Volkenkunde, Wereldmuseum).

This resource considers potentially sensitive words used in the museum sector. It begins with a series of articles examining the context of language used within the sector and it ends with a glossary of sensitive terms and suggestions for alternative words.

Inclusive Terminology Glossary

Guidance on non-discriminatory language for cultural heritage professionals. Produced by Carissa Chew.

Curatorial Research Centre Glossary

A glossary collated by the Curatorial Research Centre which attempts to identify and understand the different ways and places in which anti-racism work is taking place.

Decolonization is not a metaphor

An article that looks at what is unsettling about the term 'decolonization' when used as a metaphor, written by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang.

Painting of a flag. Text "Painting sealed by the Qianlong emperor. Illustration of the Standard for the Camp Gates when the Emperor is on Campaign, from the "Huangchao liqi tushi" (Illustrations of Imperial Ritual Paraphernalia): China, Qing dynasty, c. 1760 - 1766. It is now part of National Museums Scotland collection.  Taken at the looting of Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace), Beijing 1860, by British and French forces. One of a partial set distributed among national museums in the UK and Irel
Related guide

Collections Research: Empire, Slavery & Scotland's Museums

This page contains resources to support research on the connections in museum collections to chattel slavery, empire, and colonialism.

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