THNOC Statement on Harmful or Offensive Content

THNOC attempts to describe archival, library, and museum materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, access, and are represented in the collections we manage. However, users of our catalog records and finding aids may encounter offensive or harmful images and/or language, including racist, sexist, homophobic, or ableist words and violent or triggering imagery. We have initiated an ongoing process of reviewing all of our cataloging to remediate potential problems with offensive language.

For catalog information written by current or former THNOC staff, we will revise old records that do not conform to acceptable language standards while continuing to adhere to approved standards in creating new records. Our goal is to limit human bias and be as transparent and objective as possible when presenting objects and information.

For catalog information based on language choices and terminology shared with other institutions, such as Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), we will make an effort to balance the value of shared information and standardized language with the need for updating old terminology. We are aware that some LCSH terms are outdated and harmful, and we support efforts throughout the library and archives profession to update and change these terms.

For catalog information that is based on the original language used in the historical items, such as published book titles and other creator-supplied titles, we will use the best professional practices of libraries, museums, and archives to determine if the accurate description of the items requires that we allow the offensive language to remain in the records. As a general rule we will provide additional context where offensive language occurs so that we can be clear that our acknowledgment of the historical existence of offensive language is not an endorsement of such language or an uncritical tolerance of the perpetuation of such language.

We invite users of our catalog records to present concerns about offensive and harmful language or imagery to our staff. We also welcome feedback from our users regarding any inaccuracies or deficiencies in our catalog information. Please send your comments to


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