Welcome to the pilot Living Refugee Archive digital library resource. We are interested in improving accessibility, awareness and engagement with our archival collections and success with social media encourage to pilot this digital library project.

This developed as an idea during our UEL funded civic engagement project in support of the Refugee Council Archive collections to help improve accessibility to these materials.  Our aim is to create an online digital library to help support the research and study into issues relating to refugee and forced migration studies.  To help facilitate this, we have been able to utilise the free Omeka software to establish a series of online thematic and resource collections which will be freely accesible online via our digital library portal at:

One of the concepts that we wanted to investigate as part of our Refugee Council Archive civic engagement project was to consider how we could make the archival collections that we hold more widely accessible, especially beyond the walls of the University. We wanted to ask questions about outreach, engagement and accessibility of our Archives whilst also considering how could respond to thematic and subject based enquiries from researchers wishing to research current issues in relation to refugee, migration, displacement and associated issues.

One of the ideas that we had was to consider the viability of trying to created a form of digital library and online resource that could act as a pilot study to see if we could viably look to enable access to online and digital resources in support of these kinds of questions. Hence, the idea for a Living Refugee Archive and digital library was born. Our aim is to create a website which will act as a source for reference for students, researchers, policy makers, third-sector workers, activists, librarians, archivists and especially local and community groups to access important materials, both in relation to our archival collections, but also in relation to born digital material, combined with access to research and reference materials including details of events and conferences, calls for papers, new publications and journals, multimedia resources, details of organizations. Academic research centres and courses, statistics, and related resources.

This is a big aim we know, but we hope that if this pilot proves to be a success then we will look for further funding to expand and develop the Living Refugee Archive and to take it forward. We would very much like to receive any feedback that you may have on our plans and we would certainly like to discuss this further with anyone that may be interested.