As MAP research scholar I have been looking at Sikh Migration into the West Midlands, as part of wider research for an article which will be published in MAP next year. The Midlands offers a variety of places to explore this topic.
First I visited the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery exhibition My Story, Our Journey: Sikh Migration into Birmingham and the Black Country. This exhibition is highly informative whilst remaining concise and small (0nly one room!) It has a broad range of engaging displays including videos, maps and an interactive corner set up as a living room in a British Sikh household.
Then I visited Wolverhampton City Archives, which houses a collection of thousands of documents relating to the history of Wolverhampton. Staff were friendly and willing to help with my search for documents relating to Sikh migration and race relations. I read a fascinating newspaper clipping about Enoch Powell, the Wolverhampton MP famous for his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.
I have also been through large stacks of books at the University of Birmingham Main Library and the Orchard Learning Resource Centre, the university being owner to exhaustive collections of books about religion and race.
All in all these visits were extremely helpful – I feel lucky to live in the West Midlands which has such a rich range of institutions for research and learning!