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This poster covers an in-progress research study that plans to examine the influence of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives on digital collections metadata practices of academic archives. EDI initiatives for libraries and archives are becoming commonplace as a strategy to address bias, racism, discrimination, oppression, and privilege. SAA’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion and Core Values of Archivists reflects the importance of these initiatives. This study will include a survey of metadata practitioners to gauge: how EDI initiatives are incorporated into digital collections descriptive metadata; whether they align with institutional and/or library-wide EDI strategies; and how certain practices were identified as supporting EDI. A content analysis will explore metadata elements and values used in digital collections identified as influenced by EDI goals to compare and contrast metadata practices. This research works to fill a gap in the literature in which detailed examples of EDI metadata practices are lacking. Better understanding of these practices could present a clearer path for how archivists and librarians can engage their digital collections metadata with EDI strategies, and whether these practices are successful. This, in turn, will improve data-informed metadata decisions so we may move toward more equitable and inclusive digital collections. As digital collections audiences grow in diversity, so, too, should the metadata practices that drive those collections’ access and discovery.


This poster presentation was given at the 2019 Society of American Archivists (SAA) Research Forum during the SAA Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas held July 31-August 6, 2019.