The Description Section is pleased to announce that its newsletter, Descriptive Notes, is now a blog! With this transition, we hope to make Descriptive Notes more accessible as a forum for the exchange of ideas and resources among those who work with and are interested in archival description.
In conjunction with the launch of the Description Section’s Inclusive Description Documentation Portal, we are starting off the blog with a series on inclusive description. Inclusive description recognizes that no archival function is neutral, including description, but that actions can be taken to remediate and avoid bias and harmful language in finding aids, catalog records, and other description.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing a variety of posts on this theme. While each describes a unique project, together they emphasize that inclusive description is a systematic effort, calling for a reassessment of organizational culture and best practices. We will hear from archivists who are surveying their collections, creating recommendations for the remediation of harmful description, working to update institutional workflows, and collectively creating resources, such as case studies and webinars, to help other institutions implement new protocols.
We are always looking for new contributors and would love to publish your work. We welcome writing on all issues related to archival description, including long form articles, announcements and updates, shared resources, interviews and surveys, and other writing. Check out our submission guidelines for more information, and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.
We hope that Descriptive Notes grows into a useful source of information and discussion about archival description, and we look forward to hearing from you!Keep reading
Exposing Archival Mediations and Repairing Legacy Practices Through Redescription: Reprocessing the Luis Alberto Sánchez papers
Alexandra (Lexy) deGraffenreid discusses the process of confronting and repairing legacy archival practices while reprocessing the Luis Alberto Sánchez papers at Pennsylvania State University.Keep reading
Kate Dietrick and Lara Friedman-Shedlov discuss efforts by the Archives and Special Collections Description Group to create institutional workflows for remediating harmful description at the University of Minnesota.Keep reading
Rose Buchanan and Diana Marsh share a case study and webinar series launched by the Native American Archives Section (NAAS) to help institutions implement the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials (PNAAM).Keep reading
Stuck at Home, but Not in the Past: Implementing Inclusive Description Standards in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress
Katie Duvall, Katherine Madison, and Rachel Telford discuss efforts to update the Preparation Section’s style manual to include emerging and established best practices for inclusive description.Keep reading
Sharon Mizota discusses the development of guidelines for using Wikidata as a controlled descriptive vocabulary within a reparative, social justice framework.Keep reading