A team of archivists at Princeton University Library (PUL)’s Special Collections is working to describe archival materials in a manner that is accurate and respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections.
“We recognize that our field has fallen short of this goal, particularly when we’ve described people from marginalized groups,” said Kelly Bolding, project archivist in the Americana manuscript collections and chair of PUL’s Archival Description and Processing Team’s Inclusive Description Working Group (IDWG), formed in May 2019.
By using a reparative framework to redress past failures in describing people with respect and accuracy, IDWG’s efforts make records of marginalized groups more discoverable to researchers and bring to light more voices and stories in the collections. IDWG guidelines include prioritizing language that individuals and communities would use to describe themselves, updating archivist-supplied language, and discontinuing the perpetuation of inequalities in finding aids.
The Princeton University Library Inclusive Description Working Group Shares Progress on Effort to Describe Collections Accurately, Respectfully
Filed by August 6, 2020on