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Reading List Toolkit (Broaden My Bookshelf): How do I get started?

Toolkit to help academics diversify reading lists



First steps

Introducing more diverse resources into your reading list isn’t always going to be a simple process. One way to make a start is to search publishers’ websites for topics you want to cover and check the ethnicity of authors using resources such as social media, their institution’s web page and profiles on Scopus or Google Scholar.

The Library is constantly monitoring new books which you add to your reading lists and will purchase them, assuming that they are available to buy in the UK and that the cost is not prohibitive.

Another idea is to try searching the catalogues of universities which have international collections, including those in Africa, Asia or South America.  Here are a few you may want to use:


Reading lists from other institutions

There are quite a few diversified reading lists, catalogues and blogs for specific subject areas which have already been collated by academics at other institutions. Here is a selection of some of the best which are publicly available. If you come across a great resource, please let us know at so that we can add it to this list.


Resources for inspiration

As you consider adding new material to diversify your reading lists, you will probably need to move beyond established academic publishers’ offerings. Here are a few resources you may want to use to look for academic materials by BAME authors:

  • The University of Kent has curated an excellent padlet of BAME publishers and booksellers
  • University of the Arts London has produced a tool to help lecturers decolonise their reading lists
  • The Afropean website, which is edited by 2020 Jhalak prizewinner Johny Pitts, was set up in 2013 to "shed light on art, music, literature, news and events from the Afro-European diaspora."
  • Project Myopia is a website set up by two postgraduate students which describes itself as being "devoted to diversifying university curricula".
  • The BBC has produced an Essential Guide to Black British History. It has a timeline, suggestions for reading and articles with interviews and biographies