This page is a continuing work in progress and will serve as a growing list of resources to consult, including readings, case studies, workflows, position statements, and organizational policies on the topic of providing responsible access to digital collections.
Have you come across any great resources you’d like to share? Please feel free to share them with us--we'd appreciate adding suggested readings to this list!
Ethics and Access Statements
- American Alliance of Museums (AAM): Code of Ethics for Museums
- American Library Association (ALA): Professional Ethics
- Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA): Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- Society of American Archivists (SAA): Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics
- ALA-SAA: Joint Statement on Access: Guidelines for Access to Original Research Materials
- Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA): Code of Ethics and Professional Practices
- Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia (A4BliP): Statement of Principles
- The Cataloging Lab: List of Statements on Bias in Library and Archives Description (compilation)
- University of California Heads of Special Collections: Statement on Inclusion and Equity in Special Collections, Archives, and Distinctive Collections in the University of California Libraries, January 2021.
Resources for Archivists, Catalogers, and Librarians
- Anti-Racist Description Resources, 2019 October. Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia.
- Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy in the Archives: An Incomplete List of White Privileges in Archives and Action Items for Dismantling Them, 2016 Fall. Gracen Brilmeyer, UCLA.
- LibGuide: Anti-racism Black Lives Matter Resources, 2020 August. Claremont Colleges Library.
- LibGuide: Anti-racist Resources, 2020 August, University of Denver Library.
Protocols for Native American Archives Resources
- Implementing the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials: Webinar Series and Resource Toolkit, 2019-2020. Society of American Archivists (Native American Archives Section).
- MOUs and Ethical Guidelines. Local Contexts.
- Native Land Map. Native Land Digital.
- Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, 2007 April. First Archivist Circle.
- Protocols for Native American Archival Materials: Information and Resources Page. Society of American Archivists (Native American Archives Section).
- Protocols for the Treatment of Indigenous Materials. 2014. American Philosophical Society
Ethical Documentation and Access Resources
- Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT) project (in progress)
- “Ethical considerations and guidelines for the assessment of use and reuse of digital content,” November 30, 2020, D-CRAFT. (Draft currently open for commenting through Feb 12, 2021.)
Inclusive and Reparative Description Resources
- Cataloguing Code of Ethics, January 2021, Cataloging Ethics Steering Committee.
- Diversity and Inclusion Toolkits, 2018, Society of American Archivists.
- Inclusive Description Resources. Society of American Archivists (Description Section).
- Inclusive Metadata & Conscious Editing Resources, October 2020, Sunshine State Digital Network (Metadata Working Group).
Case Studies, Reports, and Webinars
On Anti-Racist Practices
- Anemona Hartocollis, “Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says,” The New York Times, (March 2019).
- Gracen Brilmeyer and Michelle Caswell, “Identifying & Dismantling White Supremacy in Archives: An Incomplete List of White Privileges in Archives and Action Items for Dismantling Them,” 2016.
- Lae'l Hughes-Watkins, “Moving Toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices,” Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 5, Article 6 (2018).
On Protocols for Native American Archives
- Andrew Garrett, Melissa Stoner, Susan Edwards, Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, Nicole Myers-Lim, Benjamin W. Porter, Elaine C. Tennant & Verna Bowie, “Native American collections in archives, libraries, and museums at the University of California, Berkeley,” Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California, Berkeley, (March 2019).
- Brian Carpenter, “Archival Initiatives for the Indigenous Collections at the American Philosophical Society,” SAA Case Studies on Access Policies for Native American Archival Materials, February 2019.
- Christine Diindiisi McCleave and Dr. Rose Miron, “Digital Access to Dispersed Records,” SAA Human Rights Archives Section, October 14, 2019. (Webinar)
- Elizabeth Joffrion and Natalia Fernández, “Collaborations between Tribal and Nontribal Organizations: Suggested Best Practices for Sharing Expertise, Cultural Resources, and Knowledge.” The American Archivist 78, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015): 192-237.
- Ellen M. Ryan, “Identifying Culturally Sensitive American Indian Material in a Non-tribal Institution,” SAA Case Studies in Archival Ethics, (September 2014).
- Jonathan Pringle, “Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library and the Protocols," SAA Case Studies on Access Policies for Native American Archival Materials, (April 2019).
- Natalie Bond and Itza Carbajal, SAA Human Rights Archives Section; Rose Buchanan and Caitlin Haynes, SAA Native American Archives Section; Christine Diindisi McCleave and Stephen R. Curley, National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, “A Human Rights Issue: The Records of Native American Boarding Schools,” Archival Outlook, May/June 2020: 3, 18.
- Sean Fine, “Indigenous peoples can decide fate of residential-school settlement records, Supreme Court rules,” The Globe and Mail, (October 2017).
On Ethical Documentation and Access
- Ashlyn Velte, “Ethical Challenges and Current Practices in Activist Social Media Archives,” The American Archivist, 81, no. 1, (Spring/Summer 2018): 112-134.
- Eira Tansey, “No one owes their trauma to archivists, or, the commodification of contemporaneous collecting,” June 5, 2020.
- Chelcie Juliet Rowell, and Taryn Cooksey, “Archive of Hate: Ethics of Care in the Preservation of Ugly Histories,” Lady Science, (January 2019).
- Michelle Caswell. “Toward a Survivor-Centered Approach to Human Rights Archives: Lessons from Community-Based Archives.” Archival Science 14, no. 3-4 (2014): 307-322.
- Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor, “From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives,” Archivaria 81, (Spring 2016): 23-43
- Nicole Vavra, “The Right to Be Forgotten: An Archival Perspective,” The American Archivist 81, no. 1, (Spring/Summer 2018): 100-111.
- Yvonne Ng and “Citizen Witnesses and Human Rights Video Archives,” SAA Human Rights Archives Section, March 19, 2020. (Webinar)
On Inclusive and Reparative Description
- Armando Suárez, “Language Matters: Writing Inclusive Finding Aids and Description” Archival Outlook, July/August 2020: 11-12, 26.
- Erin Baucom, “An Exploration into Archival Descriptions of LGBTQ Materials,” The American Archivist, 81, no. 1, (Spring/Summer 2018): 65-83.
- Jennifer Douglas, “Toward More Honest Description,” The American Archivist, 79, no. 1 (2016): 26-55.
- Jennifer O’Neill and Rachel Searcy, “Righting (and Writing) Wrongs: Reparative Description for Japanese American Wartime Incarceration,” The Back Table: Archives and Special Collections at New York University, December 11, 2020.
- Kate Holterhoff, “From Disclaimer to Critique: Race and the Digital Image Archivist,” Digital Humanities Quarterly, 11, no. 3 (2017).
- Sawyer Broadley, and Jill Baron, “Change the Subject,” Vermont PBS, documentary, December 19, 2019, 55:18. About the filmmakers.
Organized Community Efforts and Further Resources:
- Archives For Black Lives in Philadelphia (A4BLiP) is a loose association of archivists, librarians, and allied professionals in the area responding to the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement. This group maintains a running list of resources.
- The Blackivists is a collective of trained Black archivists who prioritize Black cultural heritage preservation and memory work. They provide professional expertise on cultural heritage archiving and preservation practices to document historically underdocumented communities. Their vision: By helping individuals and organizations inventory, document, and preserve all aspects of humanity, we aim to empower people to use the past to speculate on or create through direct action radical, liberatory and inclusive futures for us all.
- Digital Library Federation (DLF) Cultural Assessment Working Group is comprised of volunteers from government, library, archives and museum institutions, who work to raise awareness of cultural bias, and strive for diversity, equity and inclusivity in digital collection practice to create more inclusive cultures and to mitigate collection bias. This group maintains a running of readings and resources.
- Documenting the Now responds to the public's use of social media for chronicling historically significant events as well as demand from scholars, students, and archivists, among others, seeking a user-friendly means of collecting and preserving this type of digital content. Documenting the Now has a strong commitment to prioritizing ethical practices when working with social media content, especially in terms of collection and long-term preservation. This team is building a variety of tools to help archivists, activists and researchers work with social media data.
- Local Contexts is an initiative to support Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis and Indigenous communities in the management of their intellectual property and cultural heritage specifically within the digital environment. A range of educational resources are available, including the Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels, protocols, ethical guidelines and memorandums of understanding.
- Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization. Native Land Digital is Indigenous-led, with an Indigenous Executive Director and Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization.
- Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) was established to initially bring together academic institutions across the state of Ohio and discuss ways to share information about the collections and materials related to student activism on their campuses, with a primary focus on marginalized student identities (African American, LGBTQ, Chicano/a, differently abled, Asian Americans, indigenous populations etc.)
- WITNESS trains and equips activists and citizens around the world to use video in their fight for human rights. WITNESS develops guides and toolkits appropriate for both individuals and organizations that are new to video, as well as experienced video advocacy activists who want to improve their existing skills. Visit the WITNESS Library to download free resources for video activists, trainers and their allies.