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Acknowledgment of Bias and Harmful Content

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) at Washington State University Libraries recognizes there are materials in our collections that may be offensive or harmful, containing racist, sexist, Eurocentric, ableist or homophobic language or depictions. We retain such materials unaltered in order to document history and preserve context. MASC staff is making efforts to update our finding aids (collection descriptions) to acknowledge offensive content.   

In addition, we recognize that there may be language in our collection descriptions written by staff that is outdated, problematic, and/or inaccurate. We are making efforts to identify such language and update terminology to be more respectful, accurate, and inclusive. Finding aids with problematic language will be retained for transparency purposes and will be available upon request. We also make a note of these changes in the “Processing Information” section of the finding aid or on the digital collection’s home page. Going forward, we seek to use inclusive, accurate, and respectful language in describing newly acquired and newly processed collections.   

This is an ongoing process, and we welcome feedback from MASC users. If you encounter harmful or offensive content or language in our collection descriptions, or have questions about our process, please email us at mascref@wsu.edu. Staff will review suggestions and may make changes in accordance with institutional policy.   

Useful resources

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Open to Collaborate Our institution is committed to the development of new modes of collaboration, engagement, and partnership with Indigenous peoples for the care and stewardship of past and future heritage collections.



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