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University of Washington Special Collections Anti-Racism Initiatives

We acknowledge that the Special Collections is the repository for some collections, material, finding aids and/or catalog records that may cause harm. We are actively working to address this issue.


Statement on Anti-Racism

We believe that the histories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are essential. We acknowledge that Special Collections has a legacy of collecting bias, acquiring harmful collections, and using offensive language to describe our resources. We also acknowledge the structural issues with public service and personnel that perpetuate systemic discrimination and cultural bias. We are actively working to address this legacy. 

We are committed to combating institutionalized racism by supporting the preservation of the histories of underrepresented communities at UW and in the Pacific Northwest. We commit to examine our own practices continually and share our progress in this work. We endeavor to ensure that these histories are appropriately represented and cared for in Special Collections. 

Our stance on anti-racism is aligned with the position of the University of Washington Libraries and the university at large. For information regarding the libraries as a whole, please visit the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism page.  

Statement on Potentially Harmful Content

University of Washington Libraries Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes accessible archival and library materials. These materials may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views, events, practices, and opinions. Though we do not endorse these viewpoints, we retain these materials unaltered in our collections to document their historical relevance and to fully represent materials in context, preserving our history.

Statement on Anti-Racist Description

In collaboration with UW Libraries Cataloging and Metadata Services (CAMS), UW Special Collections is committed to revising and critically examining the language we use to describe materials in our collections. For more information or feedback, please visit the Critical Cataloging and Archival Description Statement page

We Welcome Your Feedback!

We welcome feedback regarding finding aids and catalog records. You may submit feedback via this form or by emailing

Reference Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the information professionals at Oregon State University who paved the way for this guide. 

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