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Records of the Black and Asian Studies Association

Identifier: BASA

Scope and Contents

This collection is held offsite - please give a week's notice in order that we can retrieve it. Correspondence including letters, emails and faxes. Also includes pamphlets, newsletters, official educational publications, conference details,


  • 1991-2010

Conditions Governing Access

Some correspondence files are only partially open due to personal contact details being held within.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Biographical / Historical

The Black and Asian Studies Association (BASA) was originally established in 1991 as the Association for the Study of African, Caribbean and Asian Culture and History in Britain ASCACHIB. The main reason for its creation was to encourage research and disseminate information on the history of Black and Asian people in Britain. The organisation altered its name to the Black and Asian Studies Association in 1997. In 2000 it adopted a constitution and became an unincorporated association. BASA campaigned on educational issues, highlighted public commemorations and focused on related issues in museum and libraries.


Two working parties existed within BASA being Education, and the Museums, Libraries and Archives. BASA members were elected to these committees that discussed matters that were requested through the monthly members information bulletin. Members were encouraged to establish local branches of BASA, review books and teaching resources for the newsletter or represent BASA at appropriate consultation events in their area.

Museums, Libraries and Archives

BASA was involved in a number of Museum and Library activities as well as advising on the representation of Black and asian history within this sector. Actitivies included campaigning for an Ethnic Minority Archive as well as a Black People in Britain Database. BASA collaborated with the British Records Association, Science Museum , A2A (Access to Archives) , British Library , Museums Libraries and Archives, and the Public Record Office/National Archives.


Education has played a large part in BASA activities. Over the years BASA has made representations and submitted responses to consultations about the need for teaching Black and asian history in schools, training teachers, inspecting schools and combating under achievement with Government departments, secretaries and Ministers of State, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the Teacher Training Agency and a host of other organisations.


BASA was a membership run association which provided a range of services and activities such as a newsletter three times a year, a monthly member information bulletin, a BASA JISC email discussion list and a website.


BASA published a enewsletter three times a year in July, November and March. A large number of their members and associates published other related material. In 2010 a survey of London Libraries policies and procedures on acquiring Black and asian book resources was undertaken by BASA through committee member Selma El-Rayah with support from members of Wandsworth council.


BASA held a conference at least once a year which was usually alongside the Annual general meeting. Titles of previous conferences included: -

1993 Black peoples in Britain - local histories

1994 African Caribbean and Asian contributions to British society and culture

1995 African in the World - The 1945 Pan-African congress and its aftermath - Pan-African directions

1996 Women's histories, regional history and local history

1998 A Celebration of the life of Paul Robeson with SOAS

2000 The Struggles for our history in schools: past, present and future

2004 The Black British history experience

2005 Putting the ‘Black’ back into British History

2008 Making the most of it: Black History and British education

2009 John Archer and Black edwardians

2010 African and Asian Diasporas: exploring the links

2011 BASA 20th Anniversary

Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICS) and BASA Seminars

In 2002 BASA suggested that seminars on Black and Asian history be organised at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ISC). The premise was that they would be joint ISC/BASA seminars. However the ICS decided to run its own programme and this was organised by Marika Sherwood. Since January 2012 the seminars are now called 'Black and Asian Britain' and organised by ICS in association with BASA.


64 boxes

Language of Materials



The collection was kept to the original order as found during appraising as much as possible. However the order was haphazard in sections and needed some sorting. Upon the suggested arrangement put forward by the Assistant Archivist an appropriate arrangement by function has been used. [2012]

Other Finding Aids

Several box lists were created between 2009-2010.

Custodial History

Transferred to 1 Othello Close, BCA premises, from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in August 2009.


Old enclosures were retained apart from those that did not add any relevance to the collection, or were of very poor condition and were therefore discarded. Old remittance slips have been weeded during appraisal.


Further accruals are anticipated in the future.

Related Materials

Black Presence: Asian and Black History in Britain project with The National Archives

Black Cultural Archives: Records of the Black and Asian Studies Association
Black Cultural Archives
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives Collection Repository

Black Cultural Archives
1 Windrush Square