Reparative Description: A Workshop on the Conscious Editing of Archival Collections

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk


In recent years, there has been an increased interest in examining ways in which the archival profession can work toward addressing and remediating problematic language and inaccurate representation in collections and descriptions. While most archivists agree with the need for reparative description, the lack of practical tools and examples can make the implementation of this work daunting. In this workshop, we define the concept of reparative description and outline various approaches to examining and remediating potentially harmful or problematic materials and descriptions. We then examine some examples of materials from libraries and archives and discuss the ways in which an archivist might apply reparative description principles to make the materials more representative, equitable, and inclusive.

Content warning: This workshop will include historical materials and legacy descriptions that are sensitive in nature.
PeriodSep 14 2022
Held atSociety of Southwest Archivists, United States


  • diversity
  • inclusion
  • equity
  • description
  • archives
  • metadata