Empire and Slavery Research

Glasgow Museums
JRS Research Consortium

Insight gathering with audiences most impacted by the legacies of slavery and Empire to understand how to address these histories in museum displays.

We undertook research for Glasgow Life Museums (GLM) to determine how they could best present and address the topics of Empire and slavery in a way that is meaningful, relevant, interesting, and engaging for audiences.

We conducted a series of insight gathering interviews with respondents from ethnic backgrounds most impacted by the legacies of slavery and Empire, to ensure ongoing by GLM work is led by the voices of those most affected by these histories. This was a very personal topic for respondents and required a supportive and welcoming research environment where they felt comfortable expressing their thoughts. The research allowed us to feed-back actionable insights to the client team, including around elements to include in displays, the right tone to use, how to handle sensitive issues, and where to prioritise future work.

Our work was used by GLM to inform the development of a semi-permanent exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which launched in October 2022. Following launch, we worked again with GLM to conduct research with visitors to the exhibition and staff/community groups involved in its development, to gather insights around their experiences working on/view the exhibition, and any resulting personal impacts.