Davis Family Library: 9am - 5pm
Armstrong Science Library: 9am - 5pm

The Middlebury Libraries are dedicated to preserving and making accessible the College’s rich history and unique collections. To better achieve this goal, Special Collections has recently added a suggestion button and finding aid authors to our ArchivesSpace (go/aspace) platform.

What is reparative cataloging and why is it important? Reparative cataloging is a way of acknowledging the biases and omissions present in traditional cataloging practices and addressing them through community input and collaboration.

The Reparative Cataloging Project is part of the Middlebury Libraries’ commitment to update racist or outdated catalog records and to amplify underrepresented voices.

This project seeks to address catalog records that are historically inaccurate, offensive, discriminatory, or harmful. It also seeks to make records for works by authors from historically marginalized populations more discoverable by providing greater description and subject access.

By implementing a suggestion button in our archival finding aids, we are moving towards a more inclusive and accurate representation of our collections.

The “Suggest a Correction” button allows users to suggest changes to our finding aids, such as removing outdated terminology, correcting spelling or factual errors, or using alternate names. Suggestions are submitted using a Google Form, and are then reviewed by Special Collections staff. We hope that this new feature encourages community engagement and collaboration, and contributes to our goal of accurate and inclusive description.

Screenshot of ArchivesSpace finding aid with "suggest a correction" button

Including Special Collections staff names as authors of our finding aids adds greater accountability and transparency to our work. Furthermore, it shines light on the labor we do to arrange and describe our collections!

screenshot from ArchivesSpace finding aid listing Kaitlin Buerge as finding aid author

View Special Collections’ statement on language in library and archival catalogs.

Learn more about the Reparative Cataloging Project at the Middlebury Libraries. 

Want to learn more about Special Collections? Visit us on Instagram.