Reparative description, a term coined by La’el Hughes-Watkins to describe the role of revising archival metadata in social justice, becomes a tool of both practical discoverability and cultural sensitivity toward the past when applied to the issue of married women’s names in legacy metadata in finding aids. The Mrs. His Name Project at the University of Nevada, Reno, represents a case study in balancing the practical with the ethical in identifying married women formerly identified solely by their husband’s names in finding aids. The project further suggests methodology which may be applied to other reparative description projects in archives, and shows how changing cultural norms make finding aids living documents in need of regular adjustments.
Elspeth A. Olson is the Outreach and Public Services Archivist in the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Nevada, Reno. Previously she worked at the American Bookbinders Museum and Stanford University.
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Olson, Elspeth A.
"Mrs. His Name: Reparative Description as a Tool for Cultural Sensitivity and Discoverability,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 14:
1, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol14/iss1/10