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Description and Access for Anti-Black Archival Materials

  • 27 Apr 2023
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Zoom - registration for online attendees will be sent upon sign up
  • 12


This workshop is designed to address anti-Black racism in archival records by providing methods on how to create inclusive descriptions and how to provide access to these materials while minimizing harm. This workshop asks participants to think critically about the impact of descriptive and access practices for racist archival records. The workshop includes an interactive activity with space for discussion and reflection.

In this workshop participants will:
·        Learn how to apply some anti-racist frameworks to descriptive practices
·        Understand how to minimize harm while facilitating access to racist archival records
·        Learn how to think critically about the impact of archival practices on the discoverability of racist archival records

About the instructor:
MELISSA J. NELSON is a second-generation Jamaican Canadian from Toronto, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History, with a minor in Sociology, from Carleton University. She also completed a Master of Information Studies at McGill University. Currently, she works as an Archivist for the Archives of Ontario. Melissa conducts research and produces content on history and archive related topics for her website Her blog post “Archiving Hate: Racist Materials in Archives” has been cited in "Language in archival descriptions changes" by the University of Waterloo Special Collections & Archives, “United Church of Canada Archives Equity Statement” by The United Church of Canada Archives, and “Guiding Principles for Conscious and Inclusive Description" by Baker Library of Harvard Business School.

705-1 Eglinton Ave. East

Toronto ON

M4P 3A1

(647) 343-3334

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