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Why is harmful material in your collections?
SCARC holds materials from many cultures and time periods. Such material does not reflect SCARC’s viewpoint but rather the social attitudes and circumstances of the period or place in which it was created or collected.
Why are harmful terms used in some descriptions of the material? When do you use or retain harmful or offensive language in descriptions?
What is SCARC doing to address this problem and better help users understand this content?
For more information, see our “Actions Underway” page.
What is SCARC’s stance on harmful materials and language?
We seek to disrupt systems of oppression, including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, ageism, and all forms of social discrimination, through our terminology and framing of people and events. We approach the material we describe and steward with empathy, and focus our descriptions on the subjects of the material in order to enhance research access.
How would I know if this type of material is included in a collection?
When applicable, collection finding aids will include a “Statement on Description” field to include a link to this guide and information specific to the collection’s descriptive language, as well as imagery, and whether or not archivists have reused descriptions provided by a donor or have provided the language themselves. These finding aid updates are in process, and will be on-going.
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