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Historical language in archival description

The University of Minnesota aims to describe archival materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. 

Some of the descriptive language found in our collection guides reflects and re-uses the words and ideas of the people and organizations that created the material. Historical records represent the opinions and actions of their creators and the society in which they were produced.  As such, some materials may contain racial, gender, sexual, religious, or other language and imagery that is outdated, offensive and/or harmful.  This historical language was retained in cases where we believe it provides important context about the materials, is a Library of Congress Subject Heading,  or is the official title of an item, organization, or event.

Please refer to the Libraries’ inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility statement to learn more about the Libraries' approach to this work. If you are concerned about language used in our web pages or other description, we welcome feedback so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at ascref@umn.edu.  We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Approved by Archives and Special Collections on 15 December 2020