Harmful Language Statement

The M.E. Grenander Special Collections & Archives invites all researchers to review our web site, contact us remotely, or schedule an appointment to visit our Reading Room. Archivists seek to provide each individual with a welcoming experience and to describe materials respectfully.

Since the M.E. Grenander Special Collections & Archives was established in 1973 as a repository for rare materials, the way archival material is described has changed significantly. Therefore, researchers may encounter language in our legacy finding aids that is harmful and not reflective of current views of the University.

Archivists are working to update problematic and derogatory vocabulary when appropriate.

Archivists also seek to balance the need for more respectful language with preserving the historical record. There will be instances where offensive or outdated description may need to be retained for historical context within the finding aid. This is helpful for our researchers and may include words or terms contained in:

  • legislation
  • publication, song, film, or television show titles
  • individual or organization names

In addition, researchers may encounter harmful language when viewing digital versions of original content available on our web site.

We encourage feedback and there is always room for improvement. Any individual may contact us with questions about our practices at 518-437-3935 or speref@albany.libanswers.com.