Description is not neutral; individuals and institutions all bring their own biases to the process. The Huntington aims to describe the collections we manage in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and groups who create, use, and are represented within them. What constitutes appropriate description varies with context over time and is affected by the descriptive standards we apply.
The following list contains some of the situations where and reasons why library users may encounter harmful language:
Huntington staff work to balance efficient and timely cataloging, description, and preservation of original context with an awareness of the importance of language and its effect on our patrons and communities. We recognize that we may not always make the right decision and encourage feedback from all sources so that we can learn and adjust our practices.
If you encounter language in Huntington Library catalog records, digitized collections, and finding aids that you find harmful or offensive, or if you have questions about this statement or about our work, please fill out our feedback form.
This statement was adapted from similar statements by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Temple University Libraries, Stanford Libraries, and Princeton University Library.