This page provides information about collection statements. Consult the tabs above to learn more about:
In some cases, digital collections may require the use of a content statement or warning. A content statement is a message for a digital collection (on its website or within the collection's metadata), or a message for content within a digital collection, that alerts users about potential materials that may be deemed offensive or harmful.
Why Use a Content Statement?
Writing a Content Statement
The first place to start is to review your collections. You likely know them better than anyone else. Make sure that you are aware of any potentially harmful or offensive content. Then, consider gather key stakeholders (admin, staff, educators, students, volunteers, community members, etc.) and invite them to help in crafting a content statement. Recollection Wisconsin has an excellent list of things to consider during the writing process:
You do not need to reinvent the wheel when writing a content statement. Thankfully, there are many examples available online that can be reviewed and adapted to fit your organization's needs.
Feedback/ Takedown Requests
Before implementing and sharing your content statement (and preferably before the content in question is publically accessible), your organization should have a procedure or policy in place for addressing feedback or requests to remove content. Options would essentially include:
If your organization decides to keep the material accessible and unabridged, you may want to consider updating your content statement or making it more visible.
You may want to consider incorporating this plan into your content statement, or you can adopt a policy for your digital collections relating to removing material. Consult the ND State Library's document below for an example.
Yearbooks are snapshots in time. They include the activities, mindsets, and social norms of that time. However, when viewed through a modern lens, these behaviors may seem old-fashioned or even harmful. Yearbooks, especially older volumes, may include text and/or images that depict prejudices, or content that is offensive and harmful. Consult the information presented on this page, as well as the Yearbooks page for additional information.
Additional Resources/ Further Reading