Statement on Harmful Language in Catalog Records


Fondren Library is dedicated to providing bibliographic descriptions that respect the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in our collections. However, we acknowledge that some bibliographic records may contain outdated, offensive, or harmful language. This content reflects the language chosen by the individuals and organizations that created the material and does not represent the views or opinions of Fondren Library.

In our cataloging practice, we transcribe certain information as it appears on the materials, including titles, authors, tables of contents, summaries, and other bibliographic information, even if they contain offensive language. Inappropriate or harmful terms may also be retained to document the societal issues and historical context at the time.

For consistency and accessibility, Fondren Library follows established cataloging standards, such as Library of Congress Subject Headings for subject description and Library of Congress Classification for call numbers. We recognize that some of these standards may still use outdated language, and we are exploring opportunities for improvement while these standards are reviewed and revised.

We recognize the dynamic nature of language and are committed to addressing offensive or harmful language in our catalog. Your feedback is important to us. 

Please contact us if you find language in our bibliographic records that is offensive or otherwise problematic. 




Acknowledgments: This statement was created by the Fondren Library Cataloging and Metadata Services Department in collaboration with the Fondren Library Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Committee, adapted from similar statements at Emory Libraries, Princeton University Library, University of Michigan Library, and University of Maryland Libraries. A related statement on archival description at Fondren Library can be found here.