Unsettling the Library Catalog: A Case Study in Reducing the Presence of “Indians of North America” and Similar Subject Headings

Karl Pettitt, Erin Elzi


As the University of Denver (DU) has begun to accept and wrestle with its history, the DU Libraries have looked for ways it may be perpetuating the harms done to Indigenous populations. An example of this work can be seen in the libraries’ work on changing the displayed terminology used in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) to more current and appropriate headings that respect and correspond to the terminology used by the populations they are meant to represent. This article provides background for this work through a literature review and a more detailed account of how this topic is directly related to the institutional history of DU. A discussion of the specific steps and procedures taken to implement this change is followed by the obstacles encountered along the way and how they were overcome.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/lrts.67n2.4


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