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Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives are becoming commonplace as a strategy to address bias, racism, discrimination, oppression, and privilege in the historic record and improve discovery and access to rare and unique materials. SAA’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion and Core Values of Archivists reflect the importance of these initiatives. This presentation will explore some of the practices archives employ to improve EDI in digital collections metadata, which may be the key to connecting related materials of underrepresented groups across disparate collections. Attendees will then learn about an in-progress quantitative research study that will evaluate academic archives’ practices aimed at creating equitable, diverse, and inclusive metadata, and measure the impact of institutional policies (library or university) on those practices. This research will fill a gap in the literature in which an exhaustive list of EDI metadata practices has not been quantified, and the impact of institutional policies on those practices has not been analyzed. The goal of this research is to present a clearer path for how archivists can engage their digital collections metadata with EDI practices and institutional policies, and promote data-informed metadata decisions to move toward more connected, accessible, equitable, and inclusive digital collections.


This presentation was given at the 2019 South Carolina Archival Association Annual Meeting in Newberry, South Carolina held October 25, 2019.