Do you want to learn more about cultural appropriation and its impacts?  Have you read Homer’s Odyssey and wondered ‘what about the women’s stories?’ Are you looking for histories and stories told from diverse perspectives?  If you’ve asked these or other questions about diversity, equity and inclusion, then Proquest Ebook Central: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is the database for you! 

State Library Victoria members can access hundreds of databases from home (if your home is in Victoria). That’s millions of articles, magazines, archives, ebooks, videos, songs, audiobooks and more, available through the catalogue anytime. We’re taking a closer look at new and/or interesting databases as well as hidden gems from our collections. Read on for top picks and tips from librarians. 

Not a member yet? Sign up online first and reward your curiosity. 

Today we’re looking at the ebook collection Proquest Ebook Central: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Two women in front of the State Library of Victoria at a street party celebration. Both women are smiling and wearing floral garlands. One woman is holding a rainbow flag.
Let’s eat cake, 2017. Photograph by Maylei Hunt. This work is in copyright; H2019.239/4

What makes this database so great? 

Diverse resources

This ebook collection features a range of texts written by, and about, people from diverse backgrounds. The collection includes poetry and fiction created by people from marginalised communities, academic texts, language guides, and biographies, just to name a few. The ebooks cover a variety of topics including history, social and cultural studies, and literary criticism, all from a diverse and often intersectional perspective. You can find resources on subjects as specific as women poets of the American Civil War, photography in nineteenth century India and lived experience narratives by people with disability. This database is a great way to diversify the voices you encounter in your reading. 

Search functionality and personalised reading lists

Comprising over 18,000 volumes, the collection can be narrowed down by subject area, language or year of publication, allowing you to tailor the results you see. The collection also offers the option of searching within a specific title. So for example, if you were looking at the book Don’t mention the war: the Australian defence force, the media and Afghanistan and wanted to look for any mentions of ‘ABC’, you can follow these steps:

  • Sign in
  • Choose ‘Read online’ from the left-hand menu
  • Enter ABC in the ‘Search within book’ box
  • Click ‘Search’
  • The results will list every mention of ‘ABC’ within that book
Screenshot of the ebook 'Don't mention the war', featuring a search for the term 'ABC', which has produced 12 results.
Example of searching within an ebook

When you access Proquest Ebook Central: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from the A-Z database page, you will be asked to sign in using your State Library Victoria details (member number and last name). Signing in will give you access to read full texts online or download chapters to read offline at your leisure. Signing in affords you the option to build your own virtual bookshelf where you can group your finds to keep track of your reading for all the projects you have on the go. You can also send a link to a book via email and export citations in a variety of styles.

It’s a good idea to start with the Advanced Search option so you can be sure you are limiting your search to items included in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion database.

Proquest Ebook Central search box, with 'Advanced Search' option highlighted.
Choose ‘Advanced Search’ from the Proquest Ebook Central home page.
Advanced search screen with the 'Diversity, Equity & Inclusion' collection filter ticked.
On the Advanced Search page, check the box to choose the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion database

Some highlights

The need to know library

The collection features a series called ‘Need to know’ which includes volumes on cultural appropriation, non-binary gender identities and confronting violence against women.  These guides are worded for people who may not be familiar with the topics and do a great job of explaining in plain language the concepts, their history and impact. The guide Everything you need to know about cultural appropriation explores the history of this phenomenon, its impact on marginalised peoples and how best to avoid this practice in your workplace, educational institution and your day-to-day life. These guides are ideal for those working to institute more inclusive practices at work, or for anyone wanting to do better at being inclusive and celebrating diversity in any aspect of their lives.

Australian content

With a significant portion of the collection devoted to ebooks featuring Australia, you can explore topics such as Homelessness in Australia, or Australia’s history with refugees and human rights in Human rights in Australia. You can learn all about Indigenous ancestral songs in Singing bones: ancestral creativity and collaboration and decolonising the landscape in Long history, deep time: deepening histories of place.

We hope you enjoy exploring Proquest Ebook Central: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

We always welcome your recommendations for database trials  – let us know what you’d like to see.  Have a research query or questions on how to use our online collections? Ask a librarian.

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