Spring 2022 access
The Department of Special Collections is now open to the public. To review procedures for Reading Room policies and how to request materials in advance of visit, please review this page. The Reading Room hours are 9-5, but materials should be returned to the main desk at 4:45. If there are any questions or concerns, please email us.
Special Collections and University Archives Statement on Potentially Harmful Language in Cataloging and Archival Description
We acknowledge that description is not neutral, nor are we. We aim to describe our materials in an informative and accurate manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. However, Stanford Special Collections and University Archives staff created many of our catalog records and finding aids years or even decades ago, and what constitutes appropriate description varies with context, time, and the positionality of the description creator. In addition, because it is common practice to re-use language provided by creators, former owners, and vendors, and to re-use catalog records from other libraries, users may encounter offensive or harmful language in our descriptions.
We are implementing practices to address offensive or harmful language as part of routine description work, and we also encourage users to provide feedback to help us address these concerns. We recognize that terminology evolves over time and that efforts to create respectful and inclusive descriptions must be ongoing.