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Geisel Library at night

UC San Diego Library’s Statement on Historical Context and Cultural Sensitivity in Collections

The UC San Diego Library provides access to a variety of resources, such as archival materials, images, and historical newspapers, for teaching and research purposes. These items reflect the perspectives, social norms, and biases of the time period in which they were created. Part of our mission as a research library is to preserve the original context and terminology associated with materials in our collection. This information is intended to serve as valuable evidence for analyzing and challenging the legacies of that history both as it occurred and how it unfolds in the modern-day rather than to perpetuate or endorse any discriminatory, or offensive attitudes or acts.

We recognize that the UC Library Digital Collections includes materials that are troubling, discriminatory and racist, and we are critically reflecting on how to address these issues while understanding the place these items hold in history and how they impact scholarship. We acknowledge our responsibility and are committed to continuing to develop practices that are equitable, inclusive and anti-oppressive at the intersections of race, gender, faith, class, sexuality and ability. This work is iterative and ongoing.

We also strive to be respectful of the beliefs and practices of different cultures by actively following cultural protocols, building relationships and consulting and engaging in shared, culturally responsive decision-making with communities and scholars. This may include providing proper attribution, contextual statements, or mediated access.