The Cunningham Memorial Library (CML) makes an impact across our community by fostering research, teaching, and discovery, and by providing professional services, resources, experience, and expertise.
The CML Special Collections Department’s goal is to collect materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical and scholarly record. As a result, we recognize there are materials in our collections that may contain ideas of imperialism, white supremacy, misogynistic/misogynoir, and Western-centric and xenophobic opinions and attitudes; bias towards sexuality, gender, religions or abilities or other oppressive language or sentiment. It may contain graphics that are violent or provocative in nature. We retain such material unaltered in order to document history and preserve context, but we are making efforts to update our finding aids and collection descriptions to eliminate further oppression.
The Special Collections Department recognizes that description is not neutral, nor are the individuals who create these descriptions. With that in mind, we aim to describe our material and collections in a manner that alleviates the oppression of those who use our resources.
Finding aid with problematic language will be retained for transparency purposes and will be available upon request. We also make a note of these changes in the “Edition statement” section of the finding aid or on as a note on the digital items page. Going forward, we seek to use inclusive, accurate, and respectful language in describing newly acquired and newly processed collections.
If you encounter language in our catalog records, digital object metadata, or elsewhere that is offensive or harmful, we welcome your feedback. Please contact us at ISU-SpecialCollections@indstate.edu. Staff will review the description and update it in a way that balances the preservation of original context with an awareness of the effect of language on our users. Revisions may include providing additional context and/or replacing problematic terminology.
This statement was adapted from those of Folger Shakespeare Library, Princeton University Library, Brandeis University Library, and Washington State University. It was last updated September 19, 2022
Anti-Racist Description Resources: Archives for Black Lives: https://archivesforblacklives.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/ardr_final.pdf
Land Acknowledgement: https://www.indstate.edu/student-affairs/msp.
Protocols for Native American Archival Materials: https://www2.nau.edu/libnap-p/index.html
PT Barnum Museum: A note on language and disability: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/60002:4026
GLAAD media reference guide – terms to avoid: https://www.glaad.org/reference/offensive
Homosaurus- an international LGBTQ linked data vocabulary: https://homosaurus.org/