May 17, 2022

National Archives Apologizes for Alteration of 2017 Women’s March Image

UPDATE 4 (January 22, 2020)

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero on “Accepting Responsibility, Working to Rebuild Your Trust” (via AOTUS Blog)

UPDATE 3 (January 22, 2020)

AP Report: “ACLU Pressing Nat’l Archives on Censored Women’s March Photo” ||| Full Text of ACLU Statement and FOIA Filing

UPDATE 2 (January 21, 2020) ALA Responds to National Archive Efforts to Alter Materials

UPDATE National Archives (NARA) Apologizes for Alteration of 2017 Women’s March Image Removes Display

Full Text of Statement

We made a mistake. 

As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committed to preserving our archival holdings, without alteration.    

In an elevator lobby promotional display for our current exhibit on the 19th Amendment, we obscured some words on protest signs in a photo of the 2017 Women’s March. This photo is not an archival record held by the National Archives, but one we licensed to use as a promotional graphic. Nonetheless, we were wrong to alter the image.

We have removed the current display and will replace it as soon as possible with one that uses the unaltered image.

We apologize, and will immediately start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again.

Source (Includes Photo)

–End Update–

From The Washington Post

The large color photograph that greets visitors to a National Archives exhibit celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage shows a massive crowd filling Pennsylvania Avenue NW for the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement.

But a closer look reveals a different story.

The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred.

Read the Complete Article, View Images (appox. 1075 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.