Catalogue Week 2021: Day Five

The final day of Catalogue Week 2021 sees three presentations including a study of offensive terminology in archival descriptions by Grace Van Mourik, and an overview from Beth Astridge on the importance of cataloguing grants for the wider archival sector. Amanda Bevan completes the week with a look at how we might organise a notoriously messy archive in her presentation ‘Sorting (out) the Prize Papers’.

Language and the catalogue: Offensive terminology in archival descriptions

For her talk for Catalogue Week 2021, Grace van Mourik, Senior Archivist within the Cataloguing, Taxonomy & Data team at The National Archives focuses on the research and analysis work she’s been conducting in relation to offensive terminology in archival descriptions. This research has looked inwards at The National Archive’s current approaches and practices towards cataloguing offensive terminology, as well as across the archives and heritage sector more generally.

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A room without a door: Why we need Archives Revealed cataloguing grants

Beth Astridge is one of the Grants and Sector Development Managers working in Archive Sector Development at The National Archives, the team responsible for managing the Archives Revealed programme which consists of the Cataloguing Grants scheme and the Scoping Grants scheme. The team also runs other funding programmes as part of the Collaborate and Innovate scheme.

In her talk for Catalogue Week 2021, Beth focuses on the Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants programme – the only funding programme dedicated to archives cataloguing.

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Sorting (out) the Prize Papers: What to do with an archive in disarray?

In her presentation, Amanda Bevan talks about her work on the Prize Papers, a 20-year cataloguing and digitisation project, and how best to organise and digitise an archive that could really be described as an archive in disarray.

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  1. David Matthew says:

    Offensive language in document descriptions: in my view what TNA are doing is part of the ‘Woke agenda’, descriptions should be left as they are, how many people have been upset by descriptions?. For example references to people taking about ‘Gay Paris’ in the 1900s had no connection with homosexuality. As someone with Scottish ancestry I see many anti-Scottish entries but as this is effectively an English archive you have to put up with it and I have also seen this discrimination from comments by TNA in recent times ignoring the existence of Scotland. What are you going to do about the use of the words ‘idiot’ and ‘imbecile’ in the Census records?, you are effectively trying to rewrite history. Many people might be upset about the records on the Nazis and anti-semitism. I would suggest that the example of Australian archives is different to the UK in that the treatment of Aboriginal peoples (which is still there it seems), for example it this country black women have not had their babies stolen by the State to give to white childless women, a policy which was only stopped in Australia in the early 1970s.

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