Issue XXIII - October2022

Published by the Third Chapter Project, Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

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OPEN ACCESS: See open access titles from Central European University Press on Ukraine and related topics. 


REFLECTIONS: Supporting Education in Africa by Supporting Teachers’ Unions


LEARN: Explore the upcoming online workshop and guest speaker program, "How to Build a Diverse Collection", from Library Journal. 



“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness -- and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we're being brainwashed to believe.” -- Arundhati Roy, War Talk, 2003.

This issue of OTH Bookshelf comprises more than 100 academic open access title on the topics of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on books that would be of most interest and value to HSS scholars and students. 

The titles on this list cover locations ranging from Ghana to Guam, from India to Ireland, from Latin America to Sub-Saharan Africa. These works look as far back in time as the Ottoman and the Roman Empires to remind us that colonies and empires as forces have been with us for most of human history. However, books like Rocio Zambrano’s Colonial Debts: The Case of Puerto Rico (Duke University Press, 2021), examining the concept of neoliberal coloniality in light of Puerto Rico's debt crisis, make us ponder how colonialism in some form is still with us today.

OTH Bookshelf: Colonies and Empires lists titles from some 30 publishers: if our readers are aware of any title or publishers that are not included, please feel free to submit them for consideration. (To be included in OTH Bookshelf, a book must be available to read online and/or download for free and must have been assigned an ISBN.) And we welcome your suggestions for topics that might be covered in a future issue of OTH Bookshelf.


"The arts, the humanities, and museum and library services are essential to the well-being, health, vitality, and democracy of our Nation. They are the soul of America, reflecting our multicultural and democratic experience. They further help us strive to be the more perfect Union to which generation after generation of Americans have aspired. They inspire us; provide livelihoods; sustain, anchor, and bring cohesion within diverse communities across our Nation; stimulate creativity and innovation; help us understand and communicate our values as a people; compel us to wrestle with our history and enable us to imagine our future; invigorate and strengthen our democracy; and point the way toward progress."

Executive Order on Promoting the Arts, the Humanities, and Museum and Library Services

- via The White House

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France – Richelieu, the royal library complex, is now accessible to the general public who can visit its restored reading rooms, garden and new museum.

The Royal Library of France Reopens

- via Bibliothèque Nationale de France 

Benin Bronzes that were stolen in Africa during the colonial era are on display in the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, whose collection is being exhibited at the Forum, transferred property rights of its 514 objects to Nigeria. Instead of the 220 objects to be exhibited initially, only 40 pieces will be shown to the public.

Earlier this year, Germany and Nigeria signed an agreement about the return of the objects from the Benin Bronzes collection: 

Benin Bronzes on Display Before Return to Nigeria

- via Deutsche Welle

In the aftermath of the passing of Elizabeth II on September 8 2022, a leaked 2017 version of the full, very detailed protocol (codenamed Operation London Bridge) to be set in motion following the death of The Queen was widely shared on social media. The British House of Commons Library has now added a document, “The Death of a Monarch,’ with the official protocol, covering the “Demise of the Crown,” the Accession Council, the role of Parliament, procedure regarding the Commonwealth, and the lying-in-state and funeral. There are many fascinating tidbits for historians and royal watchers, with chances to see how closely the protocol was followed in real life.

London Bridge is Down

- via The British House of Commons Library

Following the announcement by the University of Cambridge that it accrued benefits from its involvement in the slave trade, the University has created a Cambridge Legacies of Enslavement Fund, aiming “to make the Cambridge of tomorrow more self-reflective, more equitable and more open to all talent”.

New Cambridge University “Legacies” Fund

- via Cambridge Independent

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration holds many records related to Queen Elizabeth, from photographs of state visits to thank you notes and recipes for scones.

NARA's Royal Holdings

- via The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Photographs and speeches from the opening of the British Library in 1973. It’s startling to realize that when this venerable institution got underway, The Queen was already twenty years into her reign:

The Queen and the British Library

- via Living Knowledge

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