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Reparative Description: Fundamentals | A&D: Foundational | June 8, 2022

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Do your archives contain legacy finding aids that employ outdated or derogatory language? Are you planning to embark on a descriptive project representing an underrepresented group of people? Describing records related to women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities, and those with disabilities can present a challenge to traditional archival values like “neutrality” (which was never really neutral) and “objectivity” (impossible!). With the recent rise in attention to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in description, many archivists are interested in redressing the harms and erasures caused by inaccurate and disrespectful language.
This webinar provides practical guidelines for embarking on a reparative description project. Through examination of real-life examples and a review of existing resources, we explore the key issues and best practices for making your collection descriptions more accurate, representative, and respectful of the people they represent and serve.
Upon completion of this course, you will understand how to:
  • Propose and secure buy-in for a reparative description project
  • Identify and prioritize collections for review and re-description
  • Research and identify both derogatory and appropriate descriptive language
  • Prepare and implement a harmful language statement
  • Respectfully and transparently make descriptive changes
Who Should Attend?
Librarians and archivists who want to begin repairing harmful descriptions of materials but aren’t sure where or how to begin. This webcast is meant to assist information professionals in the practical implementation of reparative projects.

What You Should Already Know:
Attendees should be familiar with basic DEIA concepts and understand the importance of reparative work to descriptions of materials.

This webcast made possible by a grant from NHPRC.
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