Representatives from CNI member organizations gather twice annually to explore new technologies, content, and applications; to further collaboration; to analyze technology policy issues, and to catalyze the development and deployment of new projects. Each member organization may send two representatives. Visit https://www.cni.org/mm/spring-2019 for more information.
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Tuesday, April 9 • 11:15am - 11:45am
7.8 Digitization Selection Criteria as Anti-Racist Action

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Our digital collections can reinforce legacies of racism in our institutions or actively work against them. When selecting material in archives and special collections for digitization, we can work with these legacies or against them. As race scholar and National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi recently wrote, "All policies, ideas and people are either being racist or antiracist. Racist policies yield racial inequity; antiracist policies yield racial equity." For those us of working in the field of digital cultural history records, we choose what is digitized and thus what narratives to promote, what history to highlight, and what legacies to further. Louisiana State University (LSU) Libraries is in the midst of creating new digitization prioritization policies, and to inform our decisions, we're looking closely at our legacy of racist and exclusionary practices. As a collecting repository at a historically white university in the South, racism has infused all aspects of the collections we have and the policies of access we've developed. We are framing our digitization priorities to ameliorate some of these conditions by focusing on (1) collections that contain unrepresented communities, but have neglected to properly describe these communities, and (2) reviewing internal documents to identify collections previously restricted from "non-preferred" researchers. These efforts are in their early phase, and we still have much to learn.

This talk will describe efforts at LSU, explore recent scholarship in antiracism and how local contexts are integral in forming anti-racist digitization selection plans and increased community involvement, and will include opportunities for others to describe what they are doing in this regard at their institutions.

avatar for Scott Ziegler

Scott Ziegler

Head, Digital Programs and Services, Louisiana State University
I develop strategies for LSU Libraries’ digitization and preservation operations. I think a lot about ethical digital librarianship, how cultural institutions select for digitization, and community efforts to enable digitization of at-risk cultural material. (After all, my state... Read More →

Tuesday April 9, 2019 11:15am - 11:45am