Reparative Connections to Philippine Collections
at the University of Michigan


Image: Maia Cruz Palileo. Amigo by Day. 2019. Oil on canvas 48 in. x 62 in. Private collection, Bedford, NewYork. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

ReConnect/ReCollect: Reparative Connections to Philippine Collections at the University of Michigan is a diverse group of faculty, librarians, archivists, curators, collections managers, students, and members of the Filipino/Filipinx community committed to developing models for culturally-responsive and historically-minded stewardship of the Philippine collections at the University of Michigan. After an extensive period of exploration in summer 2021, ReConnect/ReCollect is embarking on a two-year project with the overall goal of creating both the framework and the corresponding set of practices that will intervene in contemporary scholarship and curation. During this period, we will pursue what constitutes reparative work for the University of Michigan’s Philippine collections that were acquired during the U.S. colonial period in the Philippines. At the heart of our project are three interrelated interventions: reparative curation, reparative connections to community, and reparative scholarship.

The first project of its kind for Philippine collections, our project offers a new vantage point from which to participate in scholarly conversations around decolonizing collections, with the goal of constructing models for community engagement and more ethical stewardship. Our project builds on recent efforts to decolonize collections, which foreground Indigenous perspectives and community collaboration, consultation, and dialogue to construct a model of relationality and shared stewardship.

Supported by generous funding from the Michigan Humanities Collaboratory, ReConnect/ReCollect works in partnership with collections faculty at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library, Special Collections Research Center, and Museum of Anthropological Archaeology to create recommendations for representing Philippine collections held by various campus units.

For inquiries, please email us at: