Radical Collections: Re-examining the roots of collections, practices and information professions


Jordan Landes
Richard Espley


Do archivists ‘curate’ history? And to what extent are our librarians the gatekeepers of knowledge?

Libraries and archives have a long and rich history of compiling ‘radical collections’- from Klanwatch Project in the States to the R. D. Laing Archive in Glasgow- but a re-examination of the information professions and all aspects of managing those collections is long overdue.

This book is the result of a critical conference held at Senate House Library in 2017. The conference provided a space to debate the issues and ethics of collection development, management and promotion. 

This book brings together some key papers from those proceedings. It shines a light on pressing topical issues within library and information services (LIS)- to encompass selection, appraisal and accession, through to organisation and classification, and including promotion and use. Will libraries survive as victims of neoliberal marketization? Do we have a responsibility to collect and document ‘white hate’ in the era of Trump? And how can a predominantly white (96.7%) LIS workforce effectively collect and tell POC histories?


  • Introduction: Radical collections and radical voices
    Jordan Landes
  • 1. Radical or reactionary? James Wilkinson, Cork Public Library and identity in the Irish Free State
    Mairéad Mooney
  • 2. Beyond the Left: documenting American racism in print periodicals at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and theorising (radical) collections today
    Alycia Sellie
  • 3. ‘Mind meddling’: exploring drugs and radical psychiatry in archives
    Lucas Richert
  • 4. Cataloguing the radical material: an experience requiring a flexible approach
    Julio Cazzasa
  • 5. Decentring qualification: a radical examination of archival employment possibilities
    Hannah Henthorn and Kirsty Fife
  • 6. Enabling or envisioning politics of possibility? Examining the radical potential of academic libraries
    Katherine Quinn


Download data is not yet available.


August 21, 2019

Details about the available publication format: Open Access ebook

Open Access ebook

ISBN-13 (15)




Details about the available publication format: Paperback


ISBN-13 (15)


Date of first publication (11)

Hijri Calendar

Physical Dimensions