Live Q&A sessions for PGR students: Library resources and services

Unsure how to start looking for materials to support your research? No idea what a Shibboleth login is? Confused about Boolean linking words, truncation and wildcard symbols? How to access and find electronic content?

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

If the answer to any of those is “Yes” then join us for some short demonstrations of library resources. You can ask us any library-related or literature searching questions you may have, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Our Q&A sessions are scheduled for 26 November, 2 December, and 16 December, and will be delivered via Collaborate. To find out more and to book a place, visit: abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

Please get in touch if you have any questions – s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk

24 Hour Opening in The Sir Duncan Rice Library

In the lead up to the assessment period The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be extending its opening hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are just a few days until this goes into effect, and we want to let you know just now so that you can properly plan your revision.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will open at 11.00 on Sunday November 21 and stay open continuously until 22.00 on Friday December 17, 2021.

Please note that your ID card is still required for access to the building – please ensure you have your ID card as access after 22.00 will not be permitted without it.

Over this period, it is important that you are aware of the following:

  • The PCs require a nightly shutdown (lasting about ten minutes) and reboot for essential maintenance. This will happen at 04.00, and you will be given an option to delay this for 2 hours.
  • Essential cleaning of the building will be carried out overnight between 02.00 and 06.00, which may result in some disruption.
  • Look after yourselves and your belongings – take breaks, but do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Take care if leaving the Library in the early hours – travel with friends if possible.

Please respect the building and your fellow library users:

  1. Properly fitted face coverings are a legal requirement and must be worn while seated in the building. Please wear a sunflower lanyard if you are exempt.
  2. No food is allowed in the building except for in the café area.
  3. Bottled water only in the Library.
  4. Tidy up after yourself – use the sanitary wipes and bins which are available on each of the floors.
  5. Keep talk to the group study areas to allow others to study.

Please report any problems to security staff on duty – in person (Information Centre,
Floor 1, TSDRL) or by phone (01224 273330).

Please remember to check out the opening hours for our other two Library sites, as Taylor and Medical will not be open 24/7 during these dates.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk.

Black History Month – new acquisitions to diversify our collection

As part of Black History Month, we put out a call for suggested new titles, in our effort to enrich and diversify our collection. We would like to thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. Below you can see a list of all the new titles that the Library has purchased since October 2021. The full list of titles that we have purchased under this initiative, including last year’s acquisitions, can be found on our website. Library staff have also compiled a short playlist on Box of Broadcasts to celebrate Black History Month.

e-books

 Author Title Publisher Link to Primo
Alonso Bejarano, CarolinaDecolonizing ethnography: undocumented immigrants and new directions in social scienceDuke UP, 2019Primo Permalink
Ambedkar, Bhimrao RamjiAnnihilation of caste: the annotated critical editionVerso, 2014Primo Permalink
Anderson, MarkFrom Boas to Black power : racism, liberalism, and American anthropologyStanford UP, 2019Primo Permalink
Asika, UjuBringing up race: how to raise a kind child in a prejudiced worldSourcebooks, 2021Primo Permalink
Cadena, Marisol de laA world of many worldsDuke UP, 2018Primo Permalink
Elhillo, SafiaThe January childrenU of Nebraska Press, 2017Primo Permalink
Escobar, ArturoDesigns for the pluriverse: radical interdependence, autonomy, and the making of worldsDuke UP, 2018Primo Permalink
Gafney, WildaWomanist Midrash: a reintroduction to the women of the Torah and the throneJohn Knox Press, 2017Primo Permalink
Gafney, Wilda Nahum, Habakkuk, ZephaniahLiturgical Press, 2017Primo Permalink
Gafney, WildaDaughters of Miriam: women prophets in ancient IsraelFortress Press, 2008Primo Permalink
Gomez, Michael African dominion: a new history of empire in early and medieval West Africa Princeton UP, 2018Primo Permalink 
Harrison, Ira E The second generation of African American pioneers in anthropologyU of Illinois Press, 2018Primo Permalink 
Junior, NyashaAn introduction to womanist biblical interpretationJohn Knox Press, 2015Primo Permalink
Mignolo, Walter On decoloniality: concepts, analytics, praxis Duke UP, 2018Primo Permalink 
Scott, Julius Sherrard IIIThe common wind: African American currents in the age of the Haitian revolutionVerso, 2018Primo Permalink
Wicker, Kathleen O’BrienFeminist New Testament studies: global and future perspectivesPalgrave Macmillan, 2005Primo Permalink 

Print books

AuthorTitlePublisherLink to Primo
Alston, DavidSlaves and Highlanders: silenced histories of Scotland and the CaribbeanEdinburgh UP, 2021Primo Permalink
Baddiel, DavidJews don’t countHarperCollins, 2021Primo Permalink
Benjamin, FloellaComing to England: an inspiring true story celebrating the Windrush generation Macmillan, 2021Primo Permalink
Bond, Patrick BRICS, an anti-capitalist critique Pluto Press, 2015Primo Permalink
Cope, Zak The wealth of some nations: imperialism and the mechanics of value transfer Pluto Press, 2019 Primo Permalink
Dabashi, HamidEurope and its shadows: coloniality after empire Pluto Press, 2019Primo Permalink
Davidson, SteedEmpire and exile: postcolonial readings in the Book of JeremiahBloomsbury Academic, 2011Primo Permalink
Davis, Alexander E.The imperial discipline: race and the founding of international relationsPluto Press, 2020Primo Permalink
DeYoung, Curtiss PaulThe peoples’ companion to the BibleFortress Press, 2010Primo Permalink
Emejulu, AkwugoTo exist is to resist: black feminism in EuropePluto Press, 2019Primo Permalink
Firmin, Joseph-Antenor Equality of the human racesU of Illinois Press, 2002Primo Permalink
French, Howard W.Born in blackness: Africa, Africans and the making of the modern world, 1471 to the Second World WarLiveright, 2021Primo Permalink
Gilroy, PaulDarker than blue: on the moral economies of black Atlantic cultureHarvard UP, 2010Primo Permalink
Girard, GeoffreyAfrican Samurai: the true story of Yasuke a legendary black warrior in feudal JapanHanover Square Press, 2021Primo Permalink
Hamad, Ruby White tears/brown scars: how white feminism betrays women of colorTrapeze, 2020Primo Permalink
Harrison, Ira E. African-American pioneers in anthropologyU of Illinois Press, 1999Primo Permalink
Harrison. Faye V.Outsider within: reworking anthropology in the global age U of Illinois Press, 2008Primo Permalink
Harrison. Faye V.Decolonizing anthropology: moving further toward an anthropology of liberation American Anthropological Association, 2010 Primo Permalink
Jones, Nicole HannahThe 1619 project: a new origin storyEbury Press, 2021Primo Permalink
Joseph-Salisbury, RemiAnti-racist scholar-activismManchester UP, 2021Primo Permalink
Kaufmann, MirandaBlack Tudors: the untold storyOneworld, 2018Primo Permalink
Lentin, AlanaWhy race still mattersPolity, 2020Primo Permalink
Manuel, GeorgeThe fourth world: an Indian reality U of Minnesota Press, 2019Primo Permalink
Marbury, Herbert R.Pillars of cloud and fire: the politics of Exodus in African American biblical interpretationNew York U Press, 2015Primo Permalink
Mignolo, Walter D.The politics of decolonial investigationsDuke UP, 2021Primo Permalink
Newitt, MalynThe Portuguese in West Africa: a documentary history, 1415-1670CUP, 2010Primo Permalink
Noah, TrevorBorn a crime: stories from a South African childhoodJohn Murray, 2017 Primo Permalink
Otele, OlivetteL’histoire de l’esclavage britannique: des origins de la traite transatlantique aux primisses de la colonisationMichel Houdiard, 2008Primo Permalink
Otele, OlivetteAfrican Europeans: an untold history Hurst & Company, 2020Primo Permalink
Phillips, CarylColour me EnglishHarvill Secker, 2017Primo Permalink
Phillips, CarylThe European tribeVintage, 2000Primo Permalink
Phillips, CarylA new world orderHarvill Secker, 2017Primo Permalink
Pitts, Johnny Afropean: notes from black EuropePenguin, 2020Primo Permalink
Prashad, VijayRed star over the third world Pluto Press, 2019Primo Permalink
Rainey, BrianReligion, ethnicity and xenophobia in the Bible: a theoretical, exegetical and theological surveyRoutledge, 2019Primo Permalink
Restall, MatthewBeyond black and red: African native relations in Colonial Latin AmericaU of New Mexico Press, 2005Primo Permalink
Robinson, Cedric J.Cedric J. Robinson: on racial capitalism, black inter-nationalism and cultures of resistancePluto Press, 2019Primo Permalink
Roy, ArundhatiThe ministry of utmost happinessPenguin, 2018Primo Permalink
Sawyer, Michael E.Black minded: the political philosophy of Malcom XPluto Press, 2020Primo Permalink
Senna, DanzyCaucasia: a novelRiverhead Books, 1999Primo Permalink
Seth, SanjayPost colonial theory and international relations: a critical introductionRoutledge, 2013Primo Permalink
Sierra, SilvaUrban slavery in Colonial Mexico: Puebla de los Angeles 1531-1706CUP, 2018Primo Permalink
Simpson, Leanne Dancing on our turtle’s back: stories of Nishnaabeg recreation, resurgence and a new emergence Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2011Primo Permalink
Solomon, AndrewFar from the tree: parents, children and the search for identityVintage, 2014Primo Permalink
Verges, FrancoiseA decolonial feminismPluto Press, 2021Primo Permalink
Vinson, BenBearing arms for his majesty: the free colored militia in Colonial MexicoStanford UP, 2001Primo Permalink
Vinson, BenBefore Mestizaje: the frontiers of race and Caste in Colonial MexicoCUP, 2017Primo Permalink
Wilson, ShawnResearch is ceremony: indigenous research methods Fernwood, 2009Primo Permalink
Yountae, AnBeyond man: race, coloniality and philosophy of religionDuke UP, 2021Primo Permalink

The Sir Duncan Rice Library – Subject & Enquiry Team

Book Week Scotland – Old Aberdeen Library

We are gearing up for Book Week Scotland (15-21 November) and we are celebrating that we don’t have just one Library in The Sir Duncan Rice Library, we have two! Did you know that we have the Old Aberdeen branch of the Aberdeen City Libraries situated in the back right corner of the ground floor?

Image of curved bookcases full of books in a row with a standing banner in front saying Welcome to Old Aberdeen Library.

All those who work, live or study in Aberdeen City or Shire, qualify to become a member of the public library. This gives you access to borrow from their physical collection from any branch using Old Aberdeen Library as your collection point, browse the shelves on the ground floor, borrow audiobooks and electronic books from BorrowBox, their online collection. It also gives to access to all of their online resources such as Ancestry and PressReader. You can find out more about how to sign up for a membership here – https://aberdeencity.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/WPAC/JOIN

To help us celebrate Book Week Scotland, we will have staff from Aberdeen City Libraries here to answer any questions you may have or help you sign up for a membership at the following times next week:

  • Monday November 15, 09:30 – 11:30
  • Wednesday November 17, 14:00 – 16.30

Pop along to say hello to them and sign up for a membership if you haven’t already, it’s free!

New UKRI Open Access Policy

UK Research and Innovation logo

UKRI will implement a new open access policy in 2022 that will allow more opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. There are some significant changes so it is important that you are aware of this. The new policy will apply to peer reviewed research and review articles and conference papers submitted for publication from 1st April 2022 to publications with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and will be extended to include monographs from 1st January 2024. UKRI will provide increased funding to support compliance with this policy for both research articles and in-scope longform publications with further information on the block grant due in December 2021.

Authors can publish their output in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met via one of two open access routes.

Gold Open Access – the final published article is published immediately open access on the publisher website, free to read, download and reuse under licence, usually requires payment to publish.

  • publish in an open access publication or platform where the version of record (VoR) is made immediately open access on publication
  • apply a CC BY licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder
  • may require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC); see here for information on the block grant
  • the University has signed up to a number of transitional open access publisher agreements where you can publish your research gold open access at no cost to you
  • use of the block grant for publishing in an ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will no longer be permitted

Green Open Access – a version of the article, usually the unformatted manuscript as accepted for publication after peer-review, is deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Free to publish but requires a subscription to read the VoR.

  • deposit the author accepted manuscript (AAM) in a subject or institutional repository immediately on first online publication. The AAM is the author’s final draft including corrections resulting from peer review but before the publisher formatting has been applied
  • apply a CC BY Creative Commons licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder (UKRI will outline process in November 2021)
  • embargoes on making the manuscript publicly available are no longer permitted
  • submissions taking the green route must include a statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission stating that a specific licence (e.g. CC BY,  OGL, CC BY ND) will apply to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising

For either open access route, biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central, in accordance with MRC’s Additional Terms and Conditions and BBSRC’s Safeguarding Good Research Policy.

Published outputs must include a statement to specify how the underlying research data can be accessed.

From 1st January 2024 the open access policy will apply to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections. See the UKRI open access policy for further information on whether your output is in-scope.

  • the VoR or AAM must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository no later than 12 months after publication
  • a Creative Commons licence must be applied, a CC BY licence is preferred but other Creative Commons licences will be permitted (or OGL where required) which allow the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
  • the open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content but where copyright for these is held by a third party and require a more restrictive licence the policy does not apply
  • where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version

The Scholarly Communications Team in the Library are here to help you ensure that your research outputs comply with the UKRI open access policy. We will provide communications to our researchers as more information is made available by UKRI. Key resources for community engagement are to be made available by UKRI in January 2021.

You should continue to send details of newly accepted papers to paperaccepted@abdn.ac.uk to ensure deposit in Pure/AURA in compliance with funder and current REF policy. See our webpages or contact us for more information.

The University Librarian would be also pleased to attend relevant School meetings to listen to views and answer questions.



COP26 – Learn more about climate change

It is the final week of the COP26 Conference in Glasgow and the University of Aberdeen is one of 1050 universities and colleges from 68 countries that have pledged to half their emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 at the very latest. You can read more about the pledge made by the University here – https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/15480/.

We thought we would highlight just some of the books we have available in the library if you want to learn more about climate change.

A stack of books we hold in the library on the subject of climate change.

The cartoon introduction to climate change by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein (available online)

This book gives a well-rounded look at climate change. It covers so much information from: the history of the earth, the science behind climate change, predictions on what could happen and the actions we can take. All explained in a simple and easy to understand manner. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is all written as a cartoon. This allows for everything to be explained in bitesize pieces and also makes the book a nice and quick read. The illustrations are useful and often humorous in helping to understand the subjects covered. The cartoon introduction to climate change is a must read if you want to educate yourself on all aspects of climate change!

Braiding sweetgrass : indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (available online)

As both a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer believes that plants and animals are our oldest teachers, and she brings these two together in the book. Kimmerer draws on her life as a scientist, a mother and a woman to show us how other living beings offer us so much to learn, even if we have forgotten to listen to them. Bringing together reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the threats that it faces today. Understanding that we need to celebrate and acknowledge our relationship with the rest of the living world to be capable of understanding how generous the earth has been to us and learn to look after it in return. This beautifully written book provides such a fresh take on how we need to change our current relationship with the earth.

It is also available as a physical book from Aberdeen City Libraries if you prefer, you can find the details here – https://bit.ly/3bxNwe5

How to save our planet : the facts by Professor Mark Maslin (available in print)

Professor Maslin has pulled together all the facts we should and need to know about climate change. The book contains chapters on the history of our planet & humanity, the state of our world, corporate power, the power we hold as individuals, government solutions and how we can save our planet & ourselves. Everything is written clearly, in small, easy to comprehend chunks. It also features a vast reference list and further reading if you want to read more on any subjects Maslin covers. How to save our planet: the facts is an essential pocket-sized guide of the facts we need to know about climate change.

We do hope you enjoy reading and learning from some of these titles and let us know what you think of them!

The Sir Duncan Rice Library: extension to opening hours

We have extended the opening hours at The Sir Duncan Rice Library so that we will now stay open until midnight from Monday to Thursday, and on Sundays.

Here are the current opening hours for The Sir Duncan Rice Library:

  • Monday: 08.00-00.00
  • Tuesday: 08.00-00.00
  • Wednesday: 08.00-00.00
  • Thursday: 08.00-00.00
  • Friday: 08.00-22.00
  • Saturday: 09.00-22.00
  • Sunday: 11.00-00.00

Details of opening hours for all our libraries are available on the library website.

International Open Access Week 25-31 October

Information on the Open Access Week for 2021
Open Access Week 2021

This week is International Open Access Week. Check out our Quick Guide to Open Research and join us for an online lunchtime overview of open access publishing on Wednesday October 27 at 12 noon. Book your place and get joining details here: www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking/11746

Further information on Open Access can be found on our webpages: www.abdn.ac.uk/library/support/open-access-212.php

Black History Month – Help us Diversify our Collections

It’s Black History Month and we are looking for your help to Diversify our Collections. If there are any relevant books we do not have, either in print or electronically, that you believe that we should, please let us know and we will look into adding these to our collection.

We have set some funds aside for this and will purchase titles throughout October while these funds remain. Please contact us at subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk with the details of your suggestions for purchase.

This continues work we have already been undertaking to diversify our collections. You can see a full list of titles already purchased under this initiative on our website.

Books stacked showing just some of the titles we have already added to our collection through this initiative

Here is some more information about just a few of the titles we have added to our collection in the last year.

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

You may recognise this title as it has been highly recommended across social media platforms since its release in 2017. Inspired by her 2014 blog post of the same title, Eddo-Lodge discusses issues such as eradicated black history, the link between class and race, whitewashed feminism, and the political purpose of white dominance. This book has received many accolades including the Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year 2018 by the British Book Awards and is a No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller. This book is an essential read to help understand race in a modern-day Britain.

If you prefer reading a physical book or listening to an audiobook, Aberdeen City Libraries have access to both here – https://bit.ly/3aSSLol.

Race talk and the conspiracy of silence : understanding and facilitating difficult dialogues on race by Derald Wing Sue

Dr. Sue provides guidance on how to turn what may be an uncomfortable conversation into one that is meaningful and how to get over any fears you may have when talking about race. Showing how best to approach, navigate and facilitate conversations about race. He goes over how to identify when a conversation on race may be unproductive, social rules to keep in mind when talking about racial issues, race specific difficulties and misconceptions and advice for parents and educators on how to approach race more effectively. Dr. Sue has included specific chapters on why people of colour may find it difficult to have honest conversations about race. This book seems incredibly useful if you want to have more productive conversations about race and why a ‘colour-blind approach’ may not be very helpful. 

Ain’t I a woman by bell hooks 

bell hooks provides an essential and classic text in feminist literature. This book covers the impact of sexism on black women during slavery moving into the continuation of the devaluation of black women. She also looks at racism amongst feminists and black women’s involvement in feminism. This is a must read for those looking to expand their knowledge of feminism and read a text that has been deemed ground-breaking in the field.

It is also available as a physical book if you prefer, you can find the details here – https://abdn.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44ABE_INST/1eeeind/alma990016699270205941

We have also compiled a short playlist on Box of Broadcasts to celebrate Black History Month: https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/playlists/328235

We do hope you enjoy reading and learning from some of these titles and please let us know if you think our collection is missing any books, email subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk with any details.

Your library staff recommend…Scotland, Africa and Slavery in the Caribbean: books on a North East story

The University of Aberdeen’s Museums and Special Collections Team have a number of online exhibitions, on a variety of topics. This blog post focuses on the Scotland, Africa and Slavery in the Caribbean exhibition currently available online.

After the Union of Scotland and England in 1707, North East Scots eagerly claimed a share of the riches generated by slavery, especially in the Caribbean. The exhibition which was originally created to mark the 200th anniversary of Britain’s abolition of the African slave trade in 1807, presents research into violence against enslaved people in labour camps and the financial profits from slavery.

Library staff have selected a range of books in our collections that showcase the many different aspects of both the slave trade and the anti-slavery movement.

Recommended by Lucy Drysdale: A Monograph being a Contribution towards the History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade & Slavery by James Eames: Addressed to the Earl of Shaftsbury and published in 1854, this book is a blistering condemnation of slavery; and invites the Earl to follow the abolitionist’s example in the form of a detailed examination of Clarkson’s work as a “wise, zealous and untiring advocate for the rights and privileges of mankind…” Exploring his adult life from the point of winning prizes for his anti-slavery dissertation at Cambridge to working with luminaries such as William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, and their final successes in Parliament, the narrative combines moral and philosophical arguments against the slave trade with historical biography and insight into the writings and thoughts of Clarkson and his fellow abolitionists.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Recommended by Louise Faustino: The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery by Vincent Brown: This book is multidisciplinary, part social history and part anthropology. It is themed around the “extravagant death rate” in Jamaica during the era of slavery, amongst all sectors of the population whether enslaved or free, white, or black. It outlines the horrifying violence that was a continual method of creating and maintaining slavery throughout the world. Further it examines how “mortuary politics”, that is, practices around death, were central in creating culture and giving communities opportunity for change, particularly in the abolitionist movement. Jamaica and its story are used to explain the racial culture of the making of the United States and the world of Britain too.

Recommended by Sarah Todd: The Interesting Narrative by Olaudah Equiano: A contemporary autobiography, Equiano tells his tale of life in southern Nigeria, enduring the brutality of plantation slavery, winning his freedom, and his subsequent life as a pre-eminent abolitionist, businessman, public speaker and author. With deliberation, piercing insight and deep humanity, he outlines the physical, mental and spiritual journeys his life contained, and how he developed his strong faith and speaking and writing abilities. Finally, the book lays the seeds of his legacy as a pioneering abolitionist.

Photo of Olaudah Equiano. Source: Wikimedia Commons (Project Gutenberg)

Other books held in the Library’s collections give evidence on historical debates around abolition, highlight the differences in international law and attitudes, and explore the consequences of abolitionism in contemporary Scottish politics and society. Joseph Knight by James Robertson is a novel based on the landmark court case between Knight, an enslaved African brought back to Scotland from Jamaica, and his master John Wedderburn, a wealthy sugar-plantation owner. Taking place in 1778, this momentous legal trial ended with the ruling that the slave laws of Jamaica did not apply in Scotland, making Joseph a free man. Robertson’s “gift for witty re-imagining” and his “canny understanding of the novelistic and its conduits to the world we live in now” is evident as the story moves to Knight’s life following his emancipation; exploring the concepts of slavery and freedom with “cunning and great assurance.”

Zachary Macaulay via Wikimedia Commons

The Joseph Knight case came during a period of history where individuals all over the world were strongly challenging slavery and the political and commercial organisations that kept this brutal practice alive. Many of them, such as Clarkson and Equiano, are justly famous, but figures such as Zachary Macaulay are less well known. Born in Inverary and beginning his adult life as a plantation overseer, Macaulay soon discovered that slavery was a “foul stain upon this nation”, and embarked on a 40 year career of research, campaigning and writing for the cause in the UK and Sierra Leone. Iain Whyte’s Zachary Macaulay 1768-1838: The Steadfast Scot in the British Anti-Slavery Movement follows his subject’s efforts to balance his passion for this work with his personal shyness and desire for anonymity. Catherine Hall is another author who examines Macaulay closely; this time through looking at his legacy and the impact he made on his son Thomas: her work Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain examines the deep contrasts between them: the “evangelical humanitarianism” of the abolitionist and reformer against the “liberal imperialism” of the Victorian historian.

Elsewhere in our collection, we see strong friendships forming, and an international dimension to the anti-slavery movement. An example of this can be seen in “Geographies of Early Anti-Racist Protests in Britain: Ida B Wells 1893 Anti-Lynching Tour in Scotland” (Chapter 6 in the “Activists, Visionaries and Artists” section of Africa in Scotland, Scotland in Africa: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Hybridities.) The chapter details Wells’ life in America and her pioneering struggles as a teacher, journalist and activist in the USA; and her work on both sides of the Atlantic, working with like-minded British women such as Aberdeen-based Isabella Fyvie Mayo, in whose home Wells stayed while in Scotland in 1893; and Catherine Impey, founder of “Anti-Caste”, possibly the first British journal against racism. It explores how these three women met and worked together with other like-minded souls throughout the 1890s to consistently “keep plugging away at the evils they were fighting.” From the first speech Wells gave in the Music Hall in Aberdeen, the chapter provides a deep insight into the tour, the formation of ‘The Society of the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man (SRBM)’ alongside it, and the strong public response to Wells and her speeches and writings across Scotland and England.

A broader perspective on this period in history; and how culture and society across the country was influenced by the changing political and social landscape can be found in Scotland and the Caribbean c.1740-1833: Atlantic Archipelagos. Written by former Aberdeen academic Michael Morris, this work fully examines the literature and poetry of the time, and explores and discusses how the imperial vision of the Scottish and British colonists in the Caribbean gave way to the realities of abolition and emancipation across the country, paying particular attention to figures such as Robert Burns, Joseph Knight and the Wedderburn family. Similarly, ‘Send Back the Money!’: the Free Church of Scotland and American Slavery by Iain Whyte is “an exciting investigation” of the growing opposition to slavery, and the various roles the Church played in galvanising support, spreading information and driving the national campaign. Finally, detailed information on local activities can be found in records of the Aberdeen Anti-Slavery Society, which can be accessed via our Special Collections Centre.

These selected items examine the themes, questions and some of the individuals featured in the exhibition from a variety of perspectives. We hope that you will gain a better understanding of this period from these resources, and welcome your comments and suggestions as we continue to develop our collections.


Lucy Drysdale, Louise Faustino & Sarah Todd. Many thanks to the Museums and Special Collections Team.