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A Guide to Creating Inclusive and Reparative Archival Description

This Libguide provides a space for us to share the Tulane University Libraries' Guide to Creating Inclusive and Reparative Archival Description.

What is archival description?

Archival description is the language used to describe archival material in a finding aid or bibliographic record. Archival description is stored as metadata that can be shared widely and used by humans and machines to communicate the who, what, where, when, and how of a collection. Our goal is to create description that is grounded in an ethics of care and respect for the people whose lives are documented in the collections we steward.

The way we approach archival description has an impact on how a collection will be accessed and understood by researchers. Compassionate and inclusive description is a necessary aspect of archival processing as it helps present a more accurate representation of collections and the communities that create them by using clear, direct language that addresses power imbalances and helps remove barriers to increase and facilitate access.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.