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Decolonising the Curriculum: Searching Library Collections


mySearch is an interface which allows you to search across a range of library resources simultaneously, including books, e-books, journal articles and databases

Decolonising Curriculums - Library Classifications

There are over 200,000 books in Bournemouth University's Libraries. To help people find information they are looking for, books on the library shelves are arranged according to a numerical classification system. Each book is assigned a number which relates to its subject and locates books on similar topics together. The classification or shelfmark can be seen on the spine of the book.

Click on the links below to see the books that have been assigned these classification numbers:

302.23089 Race and Media

305 Equality

305.8 Race, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism

‚Äč320.011 Equality Political Theory

325.3 Colonialism/ Postcolonialism 

344.4101133 Discrimination Law 

820.99171241 Postcolonial Studies and Literature


It's important to note that each subject area will also have books that focus on issues of diversity and equality. 

Decolonising Curriculums - Keyword Searching

Whenever you use a search engine, be that mySearch or even something like Google, the words you use to find the information that you are looking for are always important. Search engines only match words, they don't understand the complex ideas that you may be researching and this is why they don't always retrieve the results that you want. 

Common challenges when using keywords to search for information are synonyms and homonyms. By using the "advanced search" functionality on mySearch, you can be more specific about what you want to search: common terms used in academic research include: 

Race, Equality, Diversity, Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Cross-Cultural Studies, Ethnography, Diaspora 

Different subject areas may have specific terms to refer to similar topics. These can be terms such as:

BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic), BME (Black and minority ethnic), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)  

Algorithms of Oppression

Search engines like Google use relevance algorithms to decide what information to show you in your results list. These algorithms are often hidden and may reflect institutionalised bias.

One way of limiting or mitigating the influence of algorithms is by using the advanced search functionality to control how a search engine finds results for you.