Letter: Dame Jocelyn Barrow obituary

Alan Swerdlow
Photograph: John Giles/PA

Dame Jocelyn Barrow served on the advisory committee for what was to become the Transatlantic Slavery Gallery: Against Human Dignity at the Merseyside Maritime Museum (MMM) in Liverpool. The project was a longheld ambition of Sir Peter Moores and, having served on the board of governors of the BBC with Jocelyn, he was keen for her to help and advise.

The original research for what had been considered a taboo subject was commissioned by the Peter Moores Foundation and had been kept a well-guarded secret. No location could be found to host what was expected to be such an incendiary project until National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside agreed to make space for the display. It was particularly appropriate for the gallery to be in Liverpool, which not only has one of the oldest black communities in Europe but was also a major slaving port in the 18th century.

With Jocelyn very much hands-on, it all came together, and the gallery, opened in 1994 by Maya Angelou, proved a great success. It was later moved to a new area in the MMM, enlarged and with a broader brief, and renamed the International Slavery Museum.