How will I make my labor and that of other archivists visible? How will I leave my fingerprints on the knowledge production process?
-Michelle Caswell, Dusting for Fingerprints: Introducing Feminist Standpoint Appraisal
Institutional projects that seek to address problematic metadata in archival materials have become increasingly common over the past year. However, these projects are often not publicly documented, with legacy metadata changes occuring quietly without any explicit discussion or interrogation of intent, actions taken, or anticipated effect. Without transparency, these projects risk reinforcing systemic issues both old and new within archives and archival practice. Public accountability is critical to mitigate the history and present legacy of a white supremacist and classist society.
In line with the principles outlined in Michell Caswell's Dusting for Fingerprints: Introducing Feminist Standpoint Appraisal, this site site will, I hope, be my way of dusting and revealing the fingerprints that I will leave on the metadata describing digital and physical collections of my institution. I seek to document the scholarship that has influenced my thinking, the actions I take and did not take on metadata, and the larger trends and implications that reparative work has on reconsidering problematic archival practices and reparative work in archives as a whole.