Terms of Art Symposium: "Reparative Archival Description at Rauner Library"

Terms of Art Symposium:

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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

2023-05-17 04:10

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