Civic Engagement Project: Launch Event

Living Refugee Archive

On behalf of the Refugee Archives at the University of East London, you are cordially invited to our free launch event for our Civic Engagement project:

Democratic Access or Privileged Exclusion?
A Workshop on the Preservation of and Access to Refugee Archives
Monday 13th July, 2pm to 6pm
Room SD.1.04, Docklands Campus, University of East London

The event is free but please reserve a place at:


you can helpThe University of East London’s Library at Docklands has been the home of the Refugee Council Archive for over a decade. According to the Archives Hub database, there are several other archives documenting refugee lives which co-exist in London and beyond. Questions arise as to who accesses these archives? Are refugee archives well-represented in relation to the preservation of lived experience of refugees and migrants? If not, why is this? Who get excluded from refugee-archives, and in what ways? How could we improve access to refugee research archives?

This half-day workshop led symposium seeks to find answers to the above questions. It is a launch event of an outreach project, “Democratic Access or Privileged Exclusion: Civic Engagement through the Preservation of and Access to Refugee Archives”. In February 2015, under the auspices of the UEL Library and Learning Service, a bid was submitted by the Refugee Research Archives at UEL and the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging, focusing on the preservation of refugees and migrants lives through engaging with local refugee communities.

Awarded with an internal fund from the University of East London, we sought to use existing Archives held within the UEL Library as a basis to forge new partnerships between communities, students, academics, archivists and practitioners within the field of refugee and migration studies. At this end of project workshop we wish to share our findings with you which can help to generate a discussion on how to make archives as accessible, inclusive, representative and democratic. We will showcase the oral history of local communities and refugees made accessible through the new website of Living Refugee Archive.

All welcome. The event is free but registration is required for catering and space purposes.

Please register before end of June. Join us to discuss what can be done to improve access to refugee archives.


13:30             Registration Opens. Tea and Coffee.

14:00              Welcome by Thomas Shaw (Head of Collections and Digital Library, UEL)

14:10              Oral History for the preservation of Archives, Dr Toby Butler (UEL and Birkbeck)

14:20              Civic Engagement through Refugee Archives, Dr Tom Vickers (University of Northumbria)

14:30              Listening to Lived Experience and Narratives of Refugees in London, Dr Rumana Hashem and Paul V Dudman (UEL)

15:00              Making archives accessible and democratic: Breakout sessions

15:35              Tea and coffee break

15:50             Vice-Chancellor’s greetings – Developments relating to civic engagement within UEL, Professor John Joughin (UEL)

16:00              Mapping the couplet of exclusion and access – A roundtable discussion and group feedback. Chair: Dr Georgie Wemyss (CMRB, UEL)

Discussants: Dr Ben Gidley (COMPAS, Oxford), Sarah Menzies (Evelyn Oldfield Unit), Maurice Wren (Refugee Council), Dr Toby Butler (Birkbeck and UEL), Paul V Dudman (Refugee Archives, UEL), Dr Rumana Hashem (CMRB, UEL), Dr Tom Vickers (Northumbria University).

17:00              A tour to the UEL’s Archives over drink and snacks reception

Hosted by the Refugee Archives and Library and Learning Services of University of East London.

Maps and details of how to find the UEL Docklands Campus can be found here:

Please let us know if you need a parking space on campus as we will need to take further details from you in order to arrange for a campus parking permit.

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