Terms of Art Symposium: "Reparative Archival Description at Rauner Library"
Good morning and welcome to the session, Reparative Archival Description at Rauner Library. My name is Peter Carini, I'm the college archivist and records manager for Dartmouth College. My pronouns are he/him. Sorry, just looking at my phone to make sure no one is texting me something my entire role here is to introduce our panel of speakers and help field questions following the presentation. The speakers will take about 45 minutes of the allotted time and we will have some time for questions at the end of the session. We hope you will stay with us for the continuing conversation at 11 to ask further questions and delve deeper into the issues discussed in the session. Our first speaker is Caro Langenbucher who uses they/them pronouns, and is a processing specialist at Rauner Special Collections library. Their focus at Rauner is digital collections, and they joined
Rauner in February 2022. Previously they held positions at Harvard Peabody Museum of archaeology and athology, the Boston University school of Law, and New England historic genealogical Society. They have a Masters degree in history and library of science, with an archival concentration from Simmons College – Simmons University sorry, and a bachelors degree in English from Brandeis University. Following Caro we will hear from Joshua Shaw who uses he/him pronouns, and is a library web and application developer in the Digital Liberia technology group at Dartmouth library.
In his role, Joshua helps create and support the Library's digital scholarly software, and recently Joshua has been focused on issues related to reparative description, harmful content, and indigenous rights management and exploring ways to incorporate those concepts into a variety of applications including archive space, Omega S, Drupal, and other digital collection management software. Our final speaker will be Richel Cuyler, Richel use she/her pronouns. She joined the advancing pathways for long-term collaboration, Mellon grant project as the cultural heritage technical developer in April 2021. Advancing pathways is a project connecting Dartmouth library and the Hood Museum. Richel is a Dartmouth alum, who worked in museum education department here at Dartmouth I believe during her senior year which propelled her to spend over a decade in New York City working in education and event programming, museums, and cultural institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Academy for music, and the Rubin Museum.
Richel is also a creative technologist, bringing an interdisciplinary approach to integrations that help solve technical challenges. With that, I will stop sharing my screen and turn this over to Caro to get things started. Sorry, having trouble getting my stop share. There we go. Can everyone see my screen? Hear me OK? Thank you Peter for the introduction, and thank you everyone for joining us virtually today. My name is Caro Langenbucher, I'm excited to be here with my colleagues to talk about our efforts in contextualizing harmful content or repairing archival description at Rauner Special Collections library at Dartmouth College. Before we begin I want to acknowledge I'm speaking to you from the official lands of the Abenaki people at Dartmouth College campus which is built without consent from the Abenaki nation using the labor of enslaved Black people and capital obtained from false pretenses from Mohegan Minister Samson Occom.
The work we're doing at Rauner library cannot undo this legacy of colonialism and oppression and it is at most one small step in taking responsibility. I also want to state upfront that we are not offering definitive solutions for how to address harmful content or archival description the truth is we are still figuring out how to deal with these issues and we still have more questions than answers. My hope is that sharing how we've approached these issues will be instructive to others. It is important to always keep in mind the reason why we're doing this work. This is not an abstract intellectual exercise, this is about harm reduction. We want to repair harmful description
architectural ice or Full Contact because these materials, and the ways we talk about them, can harm marginalized people today and can even affect their ability to access their own histories. We have an ethical responsibility to the people and cultures represented in our collections, as well as to the record creators, our patrons and colleagues, and community at large. Just some brief background about Dartmouth and Rauner Library. Dartmouth College in case you
didn't know is a liberal arts college founded in 1769 was a long fraught history with indigenous peoples. It was originally intended to be a school for native youth, but only graduated a handful of indigenous students before the 1970s. Rauner Library is the home of Dartmouth's rare books, manuscripts, and archives which was founded in 1928. We hold over 40,000 linear feet of records and about 200,000 rare books. We also have one of the largest collections on polar exploration in the world, which includes material relating to Arctic indigenous peoples.
The images you see here are racial stereotypes of indigent people printed directly on our archival boxes. On the two sides are pictures of the College seal which was designed in 1944 based on the design from 1773, and still used to this day in Dartmouth. In the center images and image of the old Baker library weathervane which was taken down in 2020 following protest from Native American groups. A version of one of these images is on the vast majority of the boxes at Rauner. And yes we are working on it, I just wanted let you know this the context we are working in.
Here is a differently non-exhaustive list of samples of some of the harmful content we need to could contextualize. This photo on the right is from a collection I recently processed with my colleague of 20th century nitrate film negatives, and as you can see features a football team wearing these grotesque rubber masks. This is exactly the kind of content we want to flag as harmful, and use contextual information so researchers can make an informed choice about whether or how they want to access it and maybe help them understand the context a little better. Here again is a definitely non-exhaustive list of opportunities for repair we have identified. As an example, on the right you can see a screenshot of a (indiscernible) for individual menu script with a misleading title, McCormick GM letter. If you look at the description, you can see it is not a letter, it is actually a quote, bill of sale for a negro woman for $300. I want you
to notice how the two enslavers are named, but not the enslaved woman was just called a Negro woman. In fact, the woman had a name. Her name was Hager and she was about 27 years old when Daniel Brown bought her from George McCormick in Davidson Tennessee.
Reparative description would involve at the very least including Hager's name and biographical information along with her enslavers and refusing to euphemize this by calling it a letter not a bill of sale. The creators were very clear, they called it a bill of sale. I think about Hager and how she was made invisible in the record for this work that is literally about her life. And stories like Hager you want to center in our work. I want to tell you briefly about how I got started with this work. In May 2022, a couple months after I came to Rauner I came across the (indiscernible) I noticed they used the word Eskimo quite a lot. My understanding was that this was not the preferred term and could even be considered offensive. And I perhaps naively thought I was going to do something about it,
so I consulted with archivist Joshua Cell who told me it wasn't just this collection, it was a widespread problem in our collections. I spoke to indigenous knowledge's fellow and CNR member Zach Miller about what better terminology might be. I did research on reparative description best practices and arctic indigenous peoples, and started making changes.
I later started to question the efficacy of my approach, but more on that later. So that's what led to the creation of the contextualization and repair or C and R group, so we can work on issues just like that in a can systematic collective structural way. But we weren't starting from scratch. We were actually building on work that began in 2020 public
officials agree pencil name construction and repair. In the fall we split into two subgroups to focus on technical processes and writings that has been really hopeful in keeping us moving forward. so one of the very first things we did as a group was establish some group Norms to guide our discussions knowing that these conversations could be very complex and fraught and really personal and we still read these Norms aloud at the start of every meeting um to kind of set the tone of intention for the space we also reviewed reparative description work done by other institutions um like UNC Chapel Hill and Yale um and we also looked at some of the conscientious description resources that have been put out um including the archives for black lives in Philadelphia uh and um protocols for Native American Materials um and we worked to define the scope of our work and our guiding principles we originally allotted an almost comically small amount of time to defining the scope of our work which was just 15 minutes at the end of the first meeting which I don't know why we thought we could do that in 15 minutes um in fact the issue took several whole entire meetings of debate and is still not fully settled and may still yet evolve um there these are just some of the questions that we talked about including some very thorny ones like who gets to decide what counts as harmful who gets to speak for a marginalized Community um and I'm not saying that we actually found definitive answers to these questions but talking about them kind of helped us Define what we wanted to focus on so by having these conversations we eventually settled on a set of priorities and guiding principles we decided to begin by acknowledging harm against martialized communities with a published statement we decided to focus on clear-cut instances of harm first and to be transparent about our choices and why we're making them and now I'm going to talk to you about some of the results until recently most of the results that we've produced have been more behind the scenes like laying the groundwork but in recent weeks we started to have a little more that's public facing but I'm going to walk you through um so as a first step we drafted and posted a statement on harmful content and repaired a description on our archive space Pui or public interface um naming the known problems emphasizing the iterative collaborative aspirational ongoing nature of the work and also encouraging researchers to consult with affected communities and this is hosted on a libguide that we're assembling where we'll also be posting more documentation from the CNR group my colleague Joshua is going to tell you more about this in detail but one of the results we're really excited about is um a Content warning labels plug-in in archive space and what you see here is a success misogynistic content warning for a woman of Dartmouth vertical file which includes a really heinous hate letter that male students wrote to female students in the early years of code education that's really shocking to come across with no warning or context um so this is the the pre-production version that you're looking at but we hope to be able to start applying this in the public Pui very same um and a more recent development which Joshua will also be talking more about is the new plug-in you developed to document reparative description changes in archive space because right now there's just like a revision statement field which doesn't really capture the kinds of data that we really want to be tracking so this uh plugin includes uh Fields recording the date of the change um the description and the type of content and this is again this is a staff side pretty broad review finally remember when I told you about finding the word Eskimo in our archival description so last year I did go ahead and make changes in archive space using say in you and I instead of copper Eskimos documenting the change in the revision State and field um and downloading a copy of the original finding aid for transparency but since then I've learned more and have started to question if I did the right thing for example some people actually identify as Eskimo and don't find it offensive and don't think it's a problem um and also the reparative term I chose might not be accurate I'm not an expert I just did some research um I'm including this uh here because I think it really underlines why transparency and iterative processing is important because it's not just one and done you might need to revise your revision and that's okay you're just going to build that into the process um so we're still relatively early on in our efforts but we have a list of next steps that we're looking to take in the near future best practices for a period of description all stress the importance of collaboration with affected communities we don't want to just ask marginalized people to help us fix their mistakes for free so we're looking to secure funding to compensate Community consultants for their time and expertise we also want to build relationships and reach out to subject matter experts and community members on Dartmouth campus and right in our backyard another step we want to take is adding contextualizing labels to our physical boxes with those really offensive images I showed you earlier and ultimately replace them entirely but in the meantime at least acknowledge the harm and really importantly we're going to continue to build the workflows and processes for documenting the changes we are making in our collections that can be sustained for the long term foreign takeaways from our work and maybe some words of advice uh for those of you looking to do this kind of work at your own Institution the first is don't reinvent the wheel there has been a ton of great work done in the past couple of years on reparative description that you can consult and I'm sure community members that you can learn from I'd also say resist the urge to act immediately without first thinking carefully you really want to take the time to think through what the problems actually are in your collections who is affected by them how they are affected by them and what the best remedy actually would be I think at the same time I don't let your fear of not getting everything perfect keep you from making any changes um I think the odds are you will mess up and the key is to be transparent and honest and open to continual reflection and revision and that's all I have for you thank you everyone now I'm going to hand it over to Joshua hi everyone um I hope everybody can see my screen um I'm Joshua Shaw uh he him pronouns as Peter mentioned I'm developer here at Dartmouth Library um after Caro's discussion of some aspects of the project we're working on I wanted to talk about some of the tools we use to make that work possible today I'll be discussing archivespace and three plugins that I developed for it one to help us tag potentially harmful content one to track record of description changes we make and a third that integrates local contexts labels and notices local contexts for those of you who don't aren't familiar with that provides protocols tools and workflows for indigenous communities so that they can retain control over how their data is collected managed displayed accessed and used in the future and I'll also Echo what Carol said about Dartmouth College being located on the ancestral lands and waterways of the Abenaki um so here's a broad overview of what I plan to discuss in this presentation so I plan to give everybody a brief overview of archive space what it is how we use it how the workflows for a tool like this differ from a standard catalog when it works now I'll also talk a bit about plugins in general in archive space and how they integrate with the core application and Why That's essential for our work then I'll discuss why we need the additional functionality that the specific plugins I developed give us and finally I'll do a brief walkthrough of the plugins I mentioned so archivespace is an open source tool that we use to manage and describe archival and manuscript collections it provides a staff interface for data entry and management and a public interface the Pui for public discovery it uses Dax for its descriptive metadata but also provides mappings to things like EAD and Mark it can be integrated with other applications we've integrated it with preservica which is a digital management a digital preservation application and onbase a records management system among others there's also a very active user and contributor community and that's pretty key for an open source project like this so to give everybody a bit more familiarity with the way we work with archive or manuscript collections here are a couple of views of a typical collection the left image shows you a hierarchical tree view of the collection while the other images show some additional details about the collection and this illustrates one of the key differences between describing archival and manuscript Collections and single object description like you typically find in a standard catalog or a museum um and that the context of an object in an archival or manuscript collection is really critical um and here's a real world example so we have a file called pound come Ezra comma 1912 to 1962 and you see that highlighted in the image there and you know that might be interesting by itself um but when you see the full hierarchy you learn that this is in the Robert Frost papers it's subject files and that's really key it contains an undated draft of a letter in pencil presumably to Kathleen Morrison regarding Ezra pound and Frost's involvement in pounds incarceration and mental hospital so that's even more interesting and that's that's where the context comes in um the public interface or Pui presents a similar view to the public so I'm showing our very customized version of that here and again you have that hierarchical tree that's so crucial for understanding the context of the object you're currently viewing um and the POI also provides some additional information on citation elements how to set up a request to view the object and how to request copies and those examples some examples there are on the right um so archive space can be customized by adding or overriding functionality with plugins plugins are modular groups of code that interact with or override the core application to provide that extra or changed functionality plugins can be shared with the community when I create a new plugin I always create it with sharing in mind I try to take our local needs and generalize those for The Wider community if a plug-in has widespread adoption it can also be incorporated into the core code this helps us provide us with that extra functionality that smaller institutions or institutions that use a hosted version of arcade space might not necessarily be able to do on their own I've included some examples of the plugins that we use and broken those out into different types of functionality things that enhance archive space like the site Maps or integration with onbase and things that change functionality like the customizations we've done for our Pui or the changes we've made to the default EAD and Mark mappings so now that we've gotten a quick overview of archive space and how plugins work let's focus on the plugins we'll be talking about today so first I want to talk about our objectives sort of the why of it all so these plugins grew out of the work of Dartmouth libraries contextualizing harmful content group and the ongoing collaboration between Dartmouth library and the hood Museum which is fostered by the advancing Pathways for long-term collaboration Grant from the knowledge Foundation um integrating the local context labels and notices and partnering with communities to identify and return controlled materials is part of the collaboration that Grant aims to Foster and encourage it aims to advance significant cross-institutional and community-centered collaboration granted in dartmouth's Native American and Indigenous Arctic collections part of the harmful content groups goals and the new work specific to around the library was to think about concrete ways that we could alert users to potentially harmful content that might be present in our Collections and how we could document any changes we might make to remediate or contextualize that content Carol Rochelle Peter and I are all part of that group and we'll show we'll talk more about the impacts this work can have on users staff and others and I'll reiterate that when I'm designing plugins I've taken a Community First approach so I first developed the plugin so it'll work for the larger community and then integrate those changes into our customized local ecosystem so once we knew the why we also needed to figure out more specifically the what you know what did we want to do so Cara discussed a lot of the goals that we had in mind but I wanted to highlight the ones that were key to the development process um so we wanted to be able to display content warnings on material that may or in fact does contain harmful content like any institution we have a lot of material to contain things that are racist misogynistic or harmful to other groups we wanted to encourage users to let us know if they encounter material but they consider harmful so that we can review it and flag it for subsequent users we wanted to link to our statement on harmful content and let users know what our process and policy for dealing with that content is we wanted to track substantive reparative descriptive changes we make and we wanted to integrate with the local context Hub to display TK and BCA labels and notices for material that we hold that is related to indigenous communities so we took these those ideas and needs and as well as ideas and models from other institutions and use those to create the plugins so this and the next couple of slides are a brief walkthrough of what a user might see in archive space when the plugins are enabled I've used the unmodified version of archive space for this so that our additional customizations don't get in the way it also illustrates that Community First design approach I mentioned so on the staff side the harmful content plugin adds a couple of new features and options it adds a new editable controlled value list with the types of tags that can be applied it adds a new sub record to objects to be tagged with two Fields a select menu from the new control value list and an optional free text field and the free text field allows the staff user to add a custom description of the tag menu applied if that text field is empty there's a default description of the tag that is used I mean I should mention that these are all repeating Fields so you can add one or more of these harmful content warnings to any specific record the reperative description changes plugin integrates with the harmful content plugin and allows us to add a few more things so it adds a date that we made a change or evaluation it adds an additional optional description of the changer evaluation so for things that like a Creator supplied title we wouldn't necessarily make a change but we would note that we evaluated the issue and know why we didn't make any change we can also explicitly tie the change to one or more types of harmful content and again there's some default text that's supplied if the stat user who's doing the data entry doesn't display Supply a description or change or evaluation um the local context plugin which is the third plug one we're discussing um also adds a couple of new features and options it adds a new project record so project record requires the local context Hub project ID and that's the unique identifier that links the two applications together and a user supplied human readable name for the project and then for any object where you tie the local context project to an object in archive space it adds a new sub record that links those two together with a typical archive space type ahead staff can also view the local contacts data to verify it so when you're in the stat view you can actually see the local context data and that includes the formatted labels and notices and view of the raw Json data but I should also note that it translations or audio are available for the label or notice those are available as well this shows you what a user would see on a typical collection page in the py and this is for the harmful content plugin you can see the link to the harmful content statement right below the general navigation as well as some example tags and a link to encourage user feedback below the title of the collection and the tags themselves link down into the body of the collection description where the tags are described in more detail and provide context for why they appear this shows you what a user encounters when they submit feedback about an object for our local instance we've added some additional language that further describes the process and this is a configuration option that that others can change to suit their local needs and I wanted to just remind people that this Community Driven feedback was one of our goals we wanted to allow users the opportunity to if they encounter something that they consider harmful to alert us to that and this shows you what the the repetitive description changes plug-in display looks like on the Pui side it essentially adds a new section in the record details and this can be displayed as a simple list and can be configured to sort either by date either ascending or descending or as this entered on the staff side finally the local context integration has a similar appearance in the Pui it adds the labels and notices images for the link project just under the record title um each image is then linked to the full label or notice text in the body of the record the body of the record adds a new subsection which includes the label notice details a link to the project on the local context Hub and any translation of the labels or notices labels details also include the named Community responsible for the label and I want to note that I work closely with the local context team to create the plugin to ensure that it met both the archive space Community needs and followed best practices for use of the local context labels and notices so this is a bit of a technical side but one question we asked ourselves was how do harmful content tags or local context data affect objects that are further down the hierarchy so you remember that the way that archival description works is you have a hierarchical description where it sort of starts at the collection level and then Works its way down to the most specifically described object within the collection so for example if we tag a series and a series is a group of objects that are intellectually related so you can think of something like a group of Correspondence should that tag be inherited by the files in that series and ultimately the answer to that question was yes unless a file in the series was more specifically Tagged so basically if a file is linked to specifically lit it has its own content warning for example that file would display that specific content warning otherwise it would display the content warnings from the parents series I also discussed this with the local context group and they felt that the same inheritance model should apply to labels and notices so here's a again how that inheritance Works in practice tags or link project data are inherited down the tree unless an object is itself directly tagged or linked to a project and the Pui displays that inheritance objects that inherit tags or project data details display those with a link to the object the tag or project data is inherited from and here's a an illustration of that that in the Pui specifically for the harmful content tags and you can note that the collection tags are inherited by the series that is not itself Tagged so that's you know the series at the top um and then or the collection at the top rather um with content warnings on the left you can see that the series inherits those content warnings from the collection and on the right you can see that the series that has been directly tagged does not inherit those but displays its own content warnings similarly uh the local context plugin does um does the same uh thing you can see again a series here with that's been linked to a local context project on the left you can see a series that inherits that data and then on the right you can see a series that is linked to its own local context project and I should note that because repetitive description changes tend to be more focused on a specific object and its description we opt not to follow the same inheritance for those so what's next we're working on integrating these plugins into our local archive space setup remember I developed these with a Community First approach so we need to make further adaptations to integrate the plugins where there are our additional customizations for example we need to integrate the plug-in Pui customizations with our own py customization we're also working to identify and develop language specific to our harm for Content tags and the workflows and processes that we'll use to apply them we'll also be working to identify collections that contain indigenous material and then starting the process of working with the affected communities to develop and apply local context labels and notices and as I mentioned previously Rochelle will be addressing some of the impacts this work can have and how we can be mindful of how the work itself can be harmful or stressful to those involved plugins themselves are open source they're available on GitHub each works with arcospace versions 311 up to the latest release we really encourage contributions code feedback pretty much anything that would help make these better for the wider community um finally thank you my contact information is on the screen and I'll hand things over to Rochelle now to talk about the human consideration and hidden costs that this work engenders thank you so much Joshua and also thank you Carol and Peter um can everyone hear me okay and see my screen okay wonderful thank you um so good morning afternoon evening to all our colleagues joining us across the globe um thank you for being here thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share our work with you um and also I want to acknowledge that we are on Abenaki land um unseated ancestral lands to be exact and so today I do want to talk about the personal the human the emotional um really the hidden costs of reperative work in cultural heritage institutions and so I want to begin with all of us doing this mental exercise okay so before I give you the questions that you're going to need for this mental exercise I want to start by reminding everyone that these answers are going to be private for you to contemplate as a personal exercise and to consider the intersectional experiences of others so this is not meant to single anyone out this is not meant to create a hierarchy of perceived harm or reduce the importance of the work that we do it really is an exercise for you to reflect um on your own thoughts and how you come into this work and so the exercise ask yourself are you a part of a work effort or team that seeks to address diversity inclusion Equity or accessibility and think about the makeup of this work effort team how did you join in why did you join it do you identify as a member of a marginalized group and how does your identity factor into how or why you are in this work effort team so let's take a moment um just about 45 seconds or so to consider these questions internally foreign so 45 seconds alone in your mind can be a long time but it's good to use that time to reflect and the reason I'm asking everyone to reflect is because talking about the additional or hidden costs behind this work is really going to help us understand our own positionality and also the intersexual intersectional um experiences of others so I want to talk about emotional labor what is emotional labor the term emotional labor was coined by sociologist Arleigh hoch's child in 1983 in her book The managed heart commercialization of human feeling so at that time Hox child defined emotional labor as a workplace only occurrence but in the decades since emotional labor has grown to be used in our society to describe the unpaid often invisible work done by one person or groups of people to quell the needs or demands of others both in the workplace and in Social and domestic situations so who usually Bears the burden of emotional labor let's get real most of the time it's black indigenous and people of color people of marginalized genders so folks who fall outside of the gender binary women are those who identify as women or femme and employees particularly of Institutions many of us here are those employees and so how does work meaning our contextualization and reparative work that we're doing to address some of these harmful Collections and harmful content in our collection it usually Falls to members of marginalized communities um in doing that work so that is something that is usually added on top of regular work duties it doesn't um usually fall into something that's paid so remember that idea of invisible unpaid work um it could include the reopening of wounds so say for example um some things have already been addressed some Dartmouth examples are the Indian symbol and the weather vein that have already been taken down but talking about that and sort of seeing some of that imagery again and again can bring up uh things that have already been addressed internally and reopening of wounds and that also falls into this idea of continuous trigger continuous triggering of past harmful experiences so if you are a person of a marginalized group or you have a marginalized identity you might be consistently and constantly triggered by dealing with this work because you have to contend with the issues and also contend with your own placement and involvement in those issues Um this can create feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness if you are doing this work wanting to make change and not seeing the needle move very much it might make you feel a little bit like a failure beautiful also some of the ways in which members of marginalized communities who fall into doing this work deal with some of this is by censoring or deliberately not sharing thoughts to avoid making others uncomfortable so say you're in a meeting someone says something offensive you know what I'm not going to speak up I'm going to just stay on nude and or I'm going to go off camera so that I don't make someone feel like I'm singling them out even though they are the person that is causing harm a lot of this work can cause complete exhaustion not only from doing this work on top of your already paid work duties but also for keeping up with current events and issues related to your community or to marginalized communities so the new cycle is 24 7 we're on social media it's seeing all of these events sort of unfold as they happen which can be incredibly stressful especially if you are an affected community this work also includes internal conflicts regarding your career your personal safety and other major life decisions so employer trust may come into question so again if we're employees of an institution and you speak up about issues or you're part of the work to address issues that have been traditionally ignored or so they're overlooked by institutions you can start thinking about employer trust like do I want to work for an institution that isn't addressing these issues or is the institution going to trust me because I'm speaking out against some of these issues internal conflicts like job satisfaction versus job duties wanting to make change but also needing to not be exhausted and censored and tired etc etc etc the other two issues that might come along with this in internal conflict is perceived professionalism so using myself as an example I'm thinking about whether or not my colleagues see me as professional based on my hairstyle or the clothes I wear but that also is a part of my identity and what I do um and how I represent myself and so if those things are connected to the work that I'm doing that falls into um contextualization and reparative work in cultural institution it can be a little dicey and feel uncomfortable for me and then finally that last issue of well-being General feelings of safety wellness and feeling like you belong feeling like you are meant to do what you are doing those things can come into question and sort of throw someone off balance and so in thinking about these things I want to talk more about the work that we are doing which is using our agency and Authority as employees of Dartmouth as folks from various identities in order to address some of these issues and so the way that we're using that agency and Authority is when we're writing um in some of our group meetings as we address sort of uh how we um label and sort of tag some of the harmful content and we're using our privilege as Dartmouth employees who are educated who are situated in our positions with the experience and expertise that we have to address these rounds and so part of our privilege comes from the fact that we work at an academic institution with resources to address historical harm that is not the case everywhere um and also we have to realize that because we have that privilege as an academic institution with resources we also have the responsibility and the privilege to fix past harm so we can individually make stand make a stance that could help influence our colleagues and peers which may also have a larger impact on institutional thinking um that's the part where the Hope comes in so what we're doing here is building upon the work that our colleagues at Dartmouth and elsewhere have done but also as individuals we're bringing ourselves and what we would like to change to the process so one of the things that is a little comical that comes up in our meeting that I use is as a phrase all the time is like okay we said it so fight us fight me like yes I said this group is defining it's defining itself as marginalized and here's the research here is the documentation um and show me where your argument is that's a good way to shut down sort of bad faith in Devil's Advocate arguments folks who truly don't have anything to um actually argue with you other than the fact they want to be contrarian um and that may or may not come up in the work um but it's a good way to say you know what we've done our research we are fighting back pushing back for communities that are harmed or that potentially could be harmed by doing research in our Collections and archives and so have a conversation with us if you truly feel like what we're doing is not correct so in all the things we've discussed emotional labor some of the setbacks and costs as well as some of the Privileges and resources that we have in doing this work it's very important to keep in mind we're all fighting battles and healing wounds that may be invisible to others so please remember to be kind and thoughtful always even with yourself give yourself Grace and this is important but can be life-altering work so sometimes this work means that we are putting ourselves in a volatile situation whether that has to do with our political environment um or other issues that we might be facing um inside and outside of the institution but there are folks who are committed to making change and we believe this work is both worth the risk and the potential Rewards and finally intersectional understanding of Oppression and historical harm whether that's via self-study or your lived experience helps to address these ongoing issues and gives us the framework through which to make change so I have some additional resources here I'll speak with moderators and uh administrators of the Symposium to make these available to everyone but these talk about some of the points that I brought up today and give them a little bit more context and or additional research case studies that help to sort of outline how this work looks for folks of marginalized groups and people who bring their full selves to this work finally thank you my name is Rachelle Kyler I really appreciate the time to talk to you all um and I look forward to discussing further in our questions and answer session um in our ongoing discussions great thank you Carol and Rochelle and Joshua for a thoughtful and thought-provoking uh session and there is a question already in the chat and people should feel free to put more questions in if they have them we have about 10 minutes for questions um the question in the chat is directed to Rochelle or perhaps Carol um says I agree with Rochelle that there's undue burden on marginalized employees when it comes to this work how can the institution compensate those employees for the extra work I can take that off um I think there are two uh things that come to mind for me I'm sure there are multiple ways to address that issue but one is just that um compensating employees for the extra work so that it's not voluntary so that it is not on top of Duties that they're already responsible for um that they're already being paid for but also to be paid to do the additional work um because there is uh there is power in giving people compensation for offering of themselves outside of their job so that's one one way to address it um I agree that it's not more meditation and happy hour I think it's also um having real talk about these costs so generally um we might not have a discussion about how you know this work affects us above and beyond sort of oh we just want to make change and do our jobs and be good at them uh in the library and make make Library safe and and archive safe all those things if we're not making employees feel safe welcome protected um then we're sort of missing the point thank you Michelle um next question not directed into anyone in particular is there's an argument here for us to not do land acknowledgments because there is no formal acknowledgment by our city slash Town County Etc does it make uh it's simply performative or should it be done always and possibly with the call out that there is uh there is no formal acknowledgment I don't know if anybody wants to take that one on I have a couple of thoughts um I can share if no none of the speakers have something I I can jump in just personally I I think it's it's good to remind people and that if you say that then that it that's possible potentially a way to push back against and push up the chain so that it become people in your community you know your institution become more aware of that issue and that may you know trickle out and out and out and so it's sort of a a way to start maybe maybe start a Grassroots sort of movement of that sort and I would just say that um you know you can think of it as sort of the first step um it shouldn't just be the beginning and the ending of you know your respect for indigenous communities to be like we're on their land and then proceed as usual um and I think the work that we're doing at rounder um it's kind of pretty Central to what we're doing which is about you know respecting indigenous communities um but I agree there's a risk of it just becoming a pro former kind of you know perfunctory acknowledgment that doesn't actually lead to anything I don't know if you have more specific thoughts Peter I would just add that I think when you tie the land acknowledgment to the specific work that you're doing and the presentation that you're doing it gives it more meaning which is what you did so beautifully at the beginning Carol um so I'm there's another I'm going to stop there because I want to get so we're getting quite a few questions and I want to make sure we get to them next question is um that uh the questioner really appreciates all the presenters sharing their work uh where do you recommend people starting uh if none of this work has been started at all I assume at their institution I have seen how it can all amount to be overwhelming yes it certainly can now let tarot maybe start with that one since they have been the target of a lot of that um definitely a hard relate um yeah it really can be overwhelming um when you're looking at you know a mountain of problems uh I would definitely recommend start by doing research and seeing what other institutions uh have done um there's so much great scholarship that's come out in the past like you know three years uh if you want I can share my Google Drive of PDFs of articles I found and you know reports from different initiatives um yeah I would start with that and and see how other institutions maybe ones with more resources than yours but that have you know started to address the problems in their own collections in a systematic way um and also see who you can collaborate with you know at your own institution in your own department or maybe at a peer institution um just learn learn from others and don't think you have to figure it all out yourself because there are resources out there thank you um so I would also not be afraid to start with yourself um and start internally and thinking about you know who you are where you come from what your biases might be and how you show up in these spaces and I think that would be helpful too to uh in order to sort of like concretize how you're stepping into the work as well so not just the outside research um but internal excavation exploration all those things I think that helps great thank you so the next question is have we experienced any pushback or hesitancy at all from the University leadership and I'll give the short answer no but um I don't know if somebody wants to expand on that I think you would know better I mean so I would say I would say we haven't and that there is um there's a strong awareness at Dartmouth right now about its past particularly in terms of its past with indigenous people we're working on their how how to get them to understand their past with slavery um and um they're in in fact in April about a year ago in April of 2022 we repatriated the Samson auction papers uh returned really because repatriation is a technical term um but we returned the Samson Occam papers to the Mohegan tribe and the next question um can you speak more about fighting um pushback that comes from a political agenda especially in red states where conservative person complains about something as simple as as a harmful language disclaimer and claims First Amendment violations and asks for proof that this language art is harming anyone and the can the field organize resources to combat this it's an excellent question uh I'm not sure who wants to take that one on I mean this is a clear example of Rochelle's uh comment about we said it fight us I don't know if you want to elaborate more about that yes indeed thank you um yeah I mean one thing that is helpful or has been helpful for me is to sort of ask people what they mean when they ask these questions and what they're trying to get at um because that can normally like stop a person like oh yeah let me I have to explain why I have so much hate oh wait I have to explain why I don't understand these things um that could be one tactic another tactic again could be you know we said it fight us here are the resources and we do this in our work we list you know the places where we've gotten previous scholarship um because we're not Reinventing the wheel folks have been doing this research and doing this work for centuries and so we can call on those resources at any time to say here's where it's listed that this is harmful and why here's where it's listed that this is harmful encourage folks to read and do research because that material is often available right in you know another section of the same Library we're in um so I think just continue to use the factual information that exists to push back and point people to the resources because it's hard to argue with factual evidence thank you Michelle um we have about two minutes left I'm gonna try to speed through a couple more questions if we don't get to your question I'm assuming Meredith that these will still we can we'll find a way to hold on to these and we can try to answer them in the in the continuing conversation um so there's a very as the person is a very very prosaic question on the archive space plugin how do the those tags appear in EAD serialization in terms of namespace Etc so that's obviously me um so for the harmful content plugin um there's a configuration option um where you can choose either scope content or the odd tag it defaults to scope content for local context there's a whole mapping that's in the plugin but pretty much each of the labels or notices maps to one of um custodhist user strict access restrict um and I think odd in one or two cases I should also note that I'm I'm still working with a local contacts team to sort of refine that mapping just to make sure that the intended use of the labels and notices matches as best we can the EAD tags themselves and often that that's sort of a it's a little bit fuzzy because there's not a very this not a definitive yes this means this in EAD land so it's it's still a work in progress in that particular case thank you Joshua we have about a little less than a minute left I'm going to try to get this one last question in um this person is interested in Search terms if Eskimo has been repaired to Inuit for example can you still re can you still search under Eskimo someone might have the old citation search by Etc yeah no that's a that's a really great uh point and when I was doing this work last year with the you know Eskimo issue in our archival description I decided to um keep the old search term in the text by saying like you know this group of records has to do with this man's work with the in you and I who are and then in parentheses refer to as copper eskimos so if somebody doesn't know you know that their endonym that they would still be able to find it if they searched copper Eskimos and that's just it would be um you would be able to find it with the keyword uh a plain keyword search yeah yeah and I should say from a technical point of view um one of the places that we could use the reperative description change plug-in is if we document that change we can indicate to the indexer for the search that it should pick up that description and so even if the term that we is no longer preferred doesn't show up in the descriptive metadata for the object which she'll still show up in the attached representative description bit and so it would still become a hit when somebody searched for that term all right thank you all we run out of time there's one last question and we will save that for the next session and answer that there and I hope that the person who asked that question is able to join us there to hear the answer thank you all very much