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In the summer of 2020 I worked with colleagues at the Cambridge Heritage Research Centre to record as much as possible of the public debate around monuments linked to slavery and colonialism. We believed that it was important to capture what was said as events were unfolding.

Taking as our starting point the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, we trawled social media and newspapers to create an archive which is now publicly accessible. I conducted interviews with activists, heritage professionals and representatives of local government, focusing on three flashpoints: the commemoration of Edward Colston in Bristol, the Melville Monument in Edinburgh, and the statue of Robert Milligan outside the Museum of London Docklands. Transcripts of the interviews were then uploaded to the archive.

The archive is presented along with details of our methodology, but without analysis. Our primary aim was not to attempt to interpret what happened in the summer of 2020, but to offer a resource for future researchers and for students. 

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