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Contested Collections: Grappling With History and Forging Pathways for Repatriation

A virtual symposium to examine the complicated histories of cultural heritage collections, the expropriation of artifacts through colonialism and looting, the ethics of ownership and restitution, and decolonization in libraries, archives, and museums.


This symposium was brought to you by the UCLA Library's International & Area Studies (IAS) Department, with the support of: Virginia Steel (Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian), Sharon E. Farb (Associate University Librarian for Distinctive Collections and Chief Policy Strategist), Library Business Services, Library Communications, and Library Human Resources.


Symposium Planning Team

  • Jade Alburo (Co-Lead), Librarian/Curator for Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands Studies; IAS Outreach Coordinator
  • Tula Orum (Co-Lead), Library Assistant for African, Latin American, and Ethnic Studies
  • Alena Aissing, Librarian/Curator for Slavic, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies
  • Dana Laderer, Library Student Research Assistant
  • Yesenia Perez, Library Student Research Assistant


Digital Exhibit Team

  • Shannon Tanhayi Ahari (Lead Curator), Librarian/Curator for Western European Studies
  • Jade Alburo, Librarian for Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands Studies; IAS Outreach Coordinator
  • Gissel Rios, Selection and Outreach Support Assistant
  • Magaly Salas, Library Student Research Assistant