Sangwand Selected as Rare Book School Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellow

Congratulations to T-Kay Sangwand, librarian for digital collection development, on her selection as a member of the inaugural cohort of the 2020-2022 Rare Book School Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage.

Supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the fellowship seeks to advance and enhance the understanding of T-Kay seated at desk with plants at her home office multicultural collections through avenues including innovative curatorial practice, programming and outreach and the fostering of leadership and professional growth. Sangwand was selected along with 14 other fellows from a highly competitive field of applicants, and will participate in the program for three years. During that time, she will take specialized coursework involving special collections and archives, plan and engage in activities to build connections with diverse communities and raise knowledge and awareness about inclusive, multicultural collections and their significance.

To find out more about being chosen as a Rare Book School Mellon Cultural Heritage fellow, we asked T-Kay a few questions about this recognition.

How has your experience at the UCLA library led to you receiving this achievement?

Since beginning at UCLA in 2016, I have coordinated the International Digital Ephemera Project partnerships in Cuba which builds upon my previous experience of building human rights archival partnerships in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the U.S. I was told by the Rare Book School that this in-depth international experience helped me stand out as a candidate.

How will this impact your work at the UCLA Library?

I foresee taking a course on 20th century duplicating technologies which will directly relate to my work assessing collections for the International Digital Ephemera Project and evaluating project proposals for UCLA Library's Modern Endangered Archives Program. Additionally, one of the requirements of the Rare Book School Fellowship is to plan a public engagement event with archival collections held at our institution and I am particularly excited about bringing together my archives and music/DJ worlds. Post-pandemic I aim to work with dublab, the radio station that I'm a part of, and the Los Angeles-based Black music ensemble, Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (PAPA), to design a public engagement event around the archive of PAPA's founder, Horace Tapscott, which is held at UCLA. 

What is next for you?

I think that remains to be seen for most of us considering the pandemic situation. Ideally, I hope to continue my work building ethical archival collaborations in the global south. While my work at UCLA doesn't specifically encompass this, I am always looking for opportunities to collaborate with diasporic communities in Los Angeles to preserve their histories.

Please join us in congratulating T-Kay on being selected an inaugural Mellon Cultural Heritage Fellow. We are delighted to have her at the UCLA Library and she can be reached at