Inclusive Description


This is an evolving list of resources for archivists seeking guidance on how to describe collections in a more inclusive way. Inclusive description is description which recognizes that no archival function is neutral, including description, but that actions can be taken to remediate and avoid bias and harmful language in finding aids, catalog records, and other description. It is the hope of the Description Section that providing a centralized list of these resources will assist archivists in remediating and avoiding language which harms BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, working class people, and other marginalized groups of people.

The resources listed herein are not formally endorsed by SAA or the Description Section. Please carefully consider the context of each of the following resources when deciding whether or not to implement ideas from them. Resources provided herein are shared with the intention of promoting respect for all people. Any content or information about resources provided herein that is perceived to malign any group, individual, or community should be brought to the attention of the Description Section Committee Chair for review and potential removal from the list.


Case studies

Manuals and guidelines

Research and theory (articles, academic papers, etc)

Resource lists 

Sample statements about harmful language in archival description 

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