Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia: Anti-Racist Description Resources.


Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia: Anti-Racist Description Resources.


Anti-Racist Description Resources is a 36-pages guide created by Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group. It identifies the many ways that archivists can begin addressing racist and oppressive description in their repositories. Besides detailed Metadata Recommendations, there are two bibliographies.

A podcast, published in July 2021, is also available as a related resource.

Excerpt from the Introduction:

"Th e working group, made up of mostly white women and professionals who work at predominantly white institutions (PWIs), have created metadata recommendations for archival professionals to address racist and anti-Black archival description. Th e recommendations are intended to combat the racist structures inherent in PWIs and in archival description of underrepresented and marginalized groups, in particular those in the Black community. Th is project came about to improve our work as [predominantly white] archivists who handle collections about, by, and for people of the Black diaspora.

Th e metadata recommendations were informed by a bibliography of sources members created at the outset of the project. Recognizing that this issue is neither new nor solved, the bibliography serves to gather and amplify the work of archivists across the field who are already theorizing and practicing anti-oppressive archival description. Th e group incorporated some of these works into an annotated bibliography meant to serve as a supplement to the recommendations. Th e metadata recommendations and bibliography are tools the working group hopes will help deepen understanding of the complex issue of describing marginalized communities and groups."


Communications Justice


Antracoli, Alexis A.
Annalise Berdini
Kelly Bolding
Faith Charlton
Amanda Ferrara
Valencia Johnson
Katy Rawdon


October 2020





Antracoli, Alexis A. et al., “Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia: Anti-Racist Description Resources.,” Antiracism Digital Library, accessed May 25, 2024,