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Statement on Harmful Content

Statement on Harmful Content in SLA holdings

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries and Archives (SLA) strives to honor the materials in our collections with a conscious and considered level of cultural sensitivity. We aim to describe our library and archival materials in a way that is respectful to, and informed by, the communities who use, create, and are represented in our collections.

However, our holdings, like the entire Smithsonian, include descriptions, documentation, or depictions of historical events and cultural beliefs that are difficult to witness yet necessary for a contextual and comprehensive understanding of the world. This content may be offensive in visual, written, and auditory content, include harmful representations of individuals or communities, or may be triggering if not presented with consideration and empathy. Due to the biases embedded within created descriptions and historical materials, there will be occurrences of biases, language, positions, and values that do not align with the values and practices at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives.

The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives does not wish to cause further harm to communities, families, and individuals. We welcome feedback concerning any harmful content via our Contact Us form.