Assessing Diversity in Special Collections and Archives

In 2020, UNLV Special Collections and Archives conducted an internal audit of collections, strategic plans, and programming in order to assess how well it is meeting strategic goals of being more inclusive and increasing diversity and representation. In a data-driven institution, how can assessment be used to advocate for resources focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion? In conducting this analysis, UNLV hoped to answer the following query: how is progress measured if the goal is to preserve stories outside the traditional narrative (white, male, cisgender, heteronormative, etc.)? This article discusses strategies for assessing diversity in special collections and archives.


The authors are in the early stages of adopting more inclusive practices and embedding them programmatically at their institution. The authors wish to be transparent about their own positionalities and identity. They work in a special collections library where the faculty are predominantly white and do not reflect the diversity of the student population nor the region’s diverse communities. Two authors identify as white and one author identifies as Asian American. The authors acknowledge and accept responsibility and privilege for working at an academic institution, but also understand their limitations in perspective, understanding, and ability to create community relationships. They understand that in order for reparative work to be done, they must reckon with the complicity of the institution that creates these issues and perpetuates harmful practices.


In 2020 and 2021, a global pandemic and numerous acts of violence across the United States highlighted the persistence of racism and white supremacy in all areas of American life, including in libraries and archives. Many organizations published statements on commitments to diversity, anti-racist practices, and improving representation within collections.1 The Council of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) acknowledged that archives workers “continue our collective effort to repair the legacy of structural racism” and that the endurance and “vitality of American archives depends on an explicit commitment to social responsibility, justice, and anti-racism in the work that we do and the organizations we work within.”2 This commitment is also reflected in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians: “As stewards of the cultural record, practitioners also bear a responsibility to represent historically underrepresented and marginalized voices, recognizing that diversity is complex and intersectional, and that silences, gaps, and poor description resulting from historical biases have the potential to do great harm.”3

As many special collections and archives aim to build more diverse collections, equitable practices, and inclusive environments, it can be challenging to identify exactly how to move from statements to actions. How do archives meaningfully address centuries of racism, discrimination, and oppression? Fortunately, there is an increasing amount of literature, presentations, professional development, and other resources related to making archives and libraries more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.4 Beyond collecting and preserving the records of marginalized communities, it is important that they are appropriately described, accessible, discoverable, promoted, and used.5 Examples of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in archives include reparative description, inclusive reading rooms, community focused archiving, and best practices for sensitive materials such as protest records and Indigenous cultural materials.6 An additional strategy for planning and implementing DEI work is to assess past initiatives and current holdings in the context of these values. A clear picture of the diversity and representation within an institution’s collections, as well as the inclusiveness of past initiatives, can illuminate weaknesses that need to be addressed and strengths that can be built upon. Hard data can also demonstrate to administrators that more support is needed for DEI work, and to counteract the notion that “we are already doing this” or “we are already doing enough.” However, assessment should not be used as an excuse to wait to take action in other ways; it can be implemented in parallel with other projects. It should complement other DEI initiatives, but it is not enough on its own.

This article describes strategies employed by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives (UNLV SCA) to assess current collections and past collecting and outreach initiatives in the context of DEI values. The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) at UNLV SCA is well known for leading community documentation projects such as Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas (2012–17), The Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project (2014–18), Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada (2018–21), and Reflections: The Las Vegas Asian American & Pacific Islander Oral History Project (2020– ).7 These projects document local communities by collecting oral histories and archival records while also building relationships, raising awareness of these collections, and providing online access to select archival materials. However, these are grant funded projects, and most of the associated activities are deprioritized when the project funding ends. Materials related to these communities remain part of regular ongoing collecting, processing, and digitization work, but to a lesser extent. UNLV SCA continues to pursue new grant funding for similar projects, but new projects often focus on a different community.

How does one measure the long-term success of projects like these? When DEI initiatives are happening already, how do archivists successfully advocate for even more resources and more action? Driven by these questions, archivists at UNLV SCA analyzed various available data to assess the diversity and inclusivity of its collections and how DEI initiatives have been prioritized over time. The authors analyzed accession data and subject headings assigned to archival collections and digital collections items to assess the diversity of SCA’s collections. They also examined past strategic plans, collection initiatives, grant projects, and events to determine how DEI initiatives have been prioritized over time. In this article the authors share their rationale for undertaking this assessment, the various methods used, a summary of the results, and recommendations for other archives that wish to conduct similar assessments.

Literature Review

Historians and archivists have called for a more diverse historical record since the 1960s and 1970s. Cultural revolutions have increased the mainstream acknowledgement of cultural, racial, and ethnic inequities. Archivists today are simultaneously reckoning with an overabundance of documentation and lack of representation within collections. In Brian Keough’s examination of documenting diversity in special collections, he succinctly lays out the history and practice of documentation strategy in archives during the 1970s and 1980s, which led to a wider call for collections of underrepresented groups.8 Academic libraries also realized that in order to truly address diverse research and teaching needs, they needed to diversify their collections.9 By the mid-1990s Louis Buttlar found that 83 percent of the academic libraries he surveyed were actively purchasing new multicultural materials.10

In 2010, Ciszek and Young outlined different strategies for academic libraries to assess the diversity of their collections. These strategies include collection analysis based on classification schemes such as the Library of Congress Classification System (LCCS), comparison to standard bibliographies, diversity codes applied to acquisition records, stewardship letters, circulation and use statistics, focus groups, interviews, and surveys. Regardless of the assessment method used, the authors emphasized that “without a shared vision and plan for diversity collections in place, differing opinions on how to increase the number of diversity‐related materials in the collection may lead to libraries missing the mark when building collections” and institutions risk not building truly diverse collections due to chaotic or ill-aligned collecting policies and vague value statements.11

Increasing diversity in archives and special collections also requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach to collecting. Unlike general library collections, there are no rubrics or bibliographies to guide collection-building. Instead, collecting is guided by the unique mission and collection development policy of the organization and the communities it serves. Do the collections reflect the diversity of the communities? Are users able to find themselves within the archival record, or is their community excluded?

Aligning all practices within an archives or special collections to the same shared, comprehensive, and DEI-centered goals and policies is critical to ensure not only that the collections are diverse, but also that other facets of archives, such as description and access, are inclusive and equitable. Documented vision and mission statements, goals, and policies provide a framework for local DEI assessment. Assessment of DEI initiatives can help demonstrate value and commitment to the community, and push goals further. While many reading rooms and archives rely on anecdotal (qualitative) information to inform collecting and staff needs, structured assessment provides statistical (quantitative) data that can inform and strengthen requests to upper management and administration for more resources or support. Lisa Carter’s 2012 article lays out the need for standardized practices of assessment in special collections and argues that special collections can no longer simply assume value, but must “shift from assumed value to evidence.”12 While Carter’s article focuses more broadly on assessment in special collections, her insight on articulating value with data over anecdotal evidence is relevant when articulating the diversity (or lack thereof) in archives:

Special collections librarians and archivists have long employed instinctual and rhetorical strategies for articulating value. Individual curators hold deep and broad expertise in their areas of collecting…. While such expertise should continue to be highly valued, a longer-term, sustainable future for collections and programs depends on more objective evidence of relevance and efficient, strategic, and judicious prioritization of effort.13

Structured and documented assessment is beneficial to individual institutions, but widely sharing assessment data also benefits the wider archival profession. The profession-wide call for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion is clear. How can the profession improve if assessment is not openly discussed, results shared, and institutions held accountable? As Carter argues, “Assessment activities need to be not only grounded in shared best practices and tools to provide a basis for external benchmarking but also tailored to address local questions and concerns…. Each of our special collections and archives may face different challenges but they share a common framework.”14 The archival profession needs an infrastructure of best practices and recommended tools that can then be applied thoughtfully and with intention. Otherwise, Carter argues, assessment activities may not matter at all.

Literature and shared data assessing diversity and inclusion in archives often centers on the demographics of archivists, which is extremely important, but there is a lack of shared methods and data focused on collections, description, initiatives, and programming. The diversity of archival collections is rarely systematically assessed or reported on widely. The majority of collection assessment literature focuses on academic libraries’ general collections, and few resources discuss assessing special collections and archives in a systematic way. As Griffin, Lewis, and Greenburg noted in their 2013 article on data-driven decision making, while professional literature on assessment in academic libraries is growing, “discussions of assessment methodologies for special collections and archives tend to be sparse and to focus on answering specific questions, usually related to technical services.”15

Institutional Background

Founded in 1957, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is a public land-grant R1 university of more than 31,000 students and is home to one of the nation’s most diverse undergraduate student bodies.16 UNLV is situated on the traditional homelands of the Nuwuvi, Southern Paiute People.17 The Special Collections and Archives (SCA) division of the UNLV University Libraries documents the history, culture, and environment of Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada region, the global gaming industry, and the University. SCA’s holdings include over 15,000 cubic feet of archival collections, over 32,000 books and periodicals, 1,800 maps, and 4,000 oral history interviews. As of 2021, SCA is composed of five units: Digital Collections, Public Services, Technical Services, the Center for Gaming Research, and the Oral History Research Center.

The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) conducts oral history interviews with members of the UNLV and Southern Nevada community, and has a history of leading grant-funded community documentation projects. Due to their strong relationships with community members, OHRC staff also work with SCA curators to acquire archival collections. UNLV SCA’s collecting strengths include architecture, “communities and groups,” early Las Vegas, entertainment, gaming, Nevada Women’s Archives, politics and government, southern and central Nevada, and water and the environment.18

SCA Technical Services (SCATS) processes and manages all of SCA’s holdings. ArchivesSpace is used to create finding aids for oral history interviews and manuscript, photograph, and university archives collections.19 Digital Collections (DC) provides online access to select materials from UNLV SCA and digitizes archival photographs, manuscript materials, newspapers, oral history interview transcripts and audio. Items are selected for digitization in consultation with all units of SCA. Digital objects are described using Dublin Core metadata, and archival description is reused or repurposed when possible. SCA Public Services is responsible for managing reference services, reproduction requests, instruction, and outreach. A collection may pass through the hands of OHRC, curators, SCATS, DC, and Public Services on its way to reaching a researcher; during each step of the way SCA aims to add value and build on the previous work of each unit.

Defining Diversity

To begin assessing diversity, special collections and archives need to define what their institution or repository considers “diverse.” An institution may “focus on more ‘traditional’ facets of diversity like race, ethnicity, and gender, while others strive for maximum inclusivity by including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, physical ability, and socioeconomic class.”20 Which underrepresented or marginalized communities or identities does the archives aim to represent and include in its collections, outreach, and activities? This should be clearly documented in guiding documents such as mission statements, collecting policies, and strategic plans. Assessment, accountability, staff training, outreach, and collecting are more efficiently achieved when explicit goals and policies are established.

Aside from time-limited, grant-funded initiatives, UNLV SCA does not have a defined collecting policy. The repository website lists “communities and groups” as one of UNLV SCA’s general collecting strengths, which is further defined as racial and ethnic groups, women’s organizations, civic and community organizations, and the LGBTQ community. The authors referred to the UNLV Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Statement for additional guidance on what facets of diversity to examine:

We welcome everyone, including people of color, immigrants, adherents of all belief systems or religions and those that do not profess or practice a religion, people of all genders and sexual orientations, and all other members of marginalized communities or oppressed groups. We encourage discovery and learning in spaces where all people are respected and protected. Within our spaces, we seek to protect everyone from all forms of hostility and oppression, including sexism, misogyny, ableism, racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and religious persecution.21

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations also specify protected characteristics that are often the basis of discrimination.22 Based on these sources, the authors used the facets of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, class, age, and national origin as a starting point for several rounds of coding subject terms applied to archival collections and digital objects. During the process of coding, the authors refined the categories of diversity represented in the data, and also identified specific topical categories that represent conscious collecting initiatives or topics of specific significance to UNLV SCA. For example: prostitution is legal in some counties in Nevada; SCA is the repository for the University Archives, therefore students should be represented; and “showgirls” is a major collecting area that falls under the category of “women” but was tagged separately to avoid skewing the data. The categories resulting from the coding of subject terms are listed below.

  • Activism
  • African American
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)
  • Buddhism
  • Children
  • Criminal justice system
  • Christianity
  • Disability
  • General diversity and discrimination terms
  • General religious terms
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Immigration
  • Indigenous
  • Islam
  • Judaism
  • Labor
  • Latter Day Saint movement23
  • Older people
  • Poverty
  • Sex work
  • Showgirls
  • Students
  • Veterans
  • Women

Terms related to activism, labor, immigration, and the criminal justice system were included because these topics are often, although not always, related to oppression and power struggles within society. Christianity is not a minority religious faith in the United States, but it is included because it is a religion and related subject terms are used to describe SCA materials. On the contrary, “white” as a race and “European American” as an ethnicity are not included because there aren’t any related subject headings used to describe SCA materials. This is an example of white European identity being assumed to be the “default.”

Strategic Plans

Strategic plans outline the top priorities of libraries and archives. The authors examined the strategic plans of both UNLV Libraries as a whole and the SCA division to see how diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities have been included over time. Strategic planning has not been practiced consistently or for very long at UNLV Libraries, so this analysis only provides insight into the recent past. From 2009 to 2015, UNLV Libraries strategic plans mainly addressed diversity as an organizational value to foster “a talented, diverse and empowered faculty and staff.”24 The 2015–2017 strategic plan was structured to align with UNLV’s Top Tier goals, which listed an increased use and online availability of “unique, regional content” as key measures of success under research, scholarship, and creative activity.25

Beginning in 2015, SCA created a framework for ensuring that the division meets the goals of the Libraries’ strategic plan, such as collecting materials on specific communities and topics, building community partnerships, increasing access to diverse collections, and creating inclusive descriptions. SCA once again developed goals in 2017 and in 2019 to align with UNLV Libraries’ new strategic plan, which included specific themes and goals aimed to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across the division. Some examples of goals include processing collections related to historically underrepresented communities, recruiting and retaining diverse staff and student workers, and practicing inclusive archival description.26 One of the challenges the authors observed in this analysis is that the goals do not list specific action items and are difficult to measure. Another concern with setting vague goals may point to an issue with performative allyship that does not flesh out specific and targeted action items beyond the vague idea that “we should be more inclusive.” Developing SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) goals based on input from all stakeholders (users, communities, and staff) can help achieve a more meaningful process of strategic planning that is user-driven and clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of staff members involved.

Developing data points to measure the success of goals such as counting the number of requested materials, reproduction requests, analytics for digitized items, and citation analysis can help in assessing the success of strategic goals. The authors recommend establishing procedures for conducting regular assessment and formally reporting on progress related to strategic plans and goals as a vital component of accountability.

Collecting Initiatives, Grants, and Outreach Events

Like many University Libraries, UNLV SCA regularly applies for and occasionally receives grant funding from a variety of federal, state, and private sources. Since 2010, UNLV SCA has received grant funding to work on twenty distinct projects, including community collecting, arranging and describing manuscript collections, and digitization of newspapers, archival collections, and photographs. These projects have sometimes been centered on particular communities in Las Vegas and included conducting oral history interviews, holding community events, and collecting archival materials. The authors analyzed available documentation of SCA’s initiatives, events, and exhibits to determine to what extent diverse communities are represented, and if representation continued past the specific project or ceased with the conclusion of the collecting initiative.

Like other aspects of this collection assessment, diversity in name does not always align with diversity in reality. While some of the collections that were processed, digitized, or publicized as part of a grant project may document an underrepresented community or an individual with a marginalized identity, the grant was not specifically written to highlight or focus on that aspect of the collection. Only six of twenty grant-funded projects that received funding from federal, state, and private sources from 2010 to 2020 were written to specifically focus on diverse communities.27

In addition to assessing the subject matter of past (and future) grant projects, archives and special collections should consider if all aspects of the project align with DEI values. For example, a project focusing on the records of the local African American community is a good start, but how involved is the community with the project? Who makes the decisions about appraisal and access? Is the description work tailored to the specific history of the community and the needs and desires of stakeholders? Grant funding can definitely help efforts focused on specific communities, but archivists should be mindful to continue nurturing the relationships and initiatives that are established during short-term projects, and plan for their sustainability beyond short-term funding. Strategic plans and other high-level guiding documents should be used to establish DEI work as a long-term priority for permanent staff.

UNLV’s grant projects inspire speaking engagements, events, and exhibits in the library, which were also analyzed. UNLV Libraries Administrative staff provided a spreadsheet of Special Collections and Archives events that took place inside the Library.28 The events in the spreadsheet were verified against blog posts on the SCA website and internal documentation, and missing events were added. Events were tagged with the diversity categories that were also used for subject heading analysis.

Of the ninety events in the provided list, twenty one were focused on diverse communities, or roughly 23 percent of the events. Additionally, when the dates of events were analyzed, the events typically took place during specially funded projects that focused on diverse collecting, such as The Latinx Voices Project (representing 6 percent of events) or the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project (representing 10 percent of events). With only a few exceptions, the public events focused on diverse communities of Las Vegas were directly tied to the grant funding timelines. The data analyzed did not include events held outside the library, such as the recent “We Need to Talk: Conversations on Racism for a More Resilient Las Vegas” event series hosted by the director of the OHRC, Claytee D. White.29 Although the series is a valuable addition to UNLV SCA’s programming, events outside the Libraries that involve library staff may or may not be officially sponsored by UNLV Libraries and are not consistently documented.

The authors recommend that archives keep consistent records of their programming and events in order to better assess their diversity and inclusiveness, both in terms of subject matter and audience. In terms of audience, records of formal groups that archives staff presented to, or community venues where the events were held. However, the authors caution against collecting and recording data about individuals attending events, as this is a violation of privacy, presents challenges of providing access to the collected data in the future, and includes issues of categorizing identities without participants’ consent.

Exhibits displayed in various areas of the Library were also assessed, and five out of fifteen are considered diverse by the authors’ criteria. While this study only examined the topics of exhibits and events, it is valuable to also consider how accessible and welcoming they are. Where and when are they held? For example, is the location on a public transit route? Can there also be a virtual component? Is it scheduled during “working hours” (whatever those may be for the target community) or can it also be experienced asynchronously? Also examine whose voices events and exhibits elevate. Are academics and librarians the only people who speak at events and create exhibits? Can students and community members promote their work and share their experiences?


From 1967 to March 2020, SCA recorded 1,647 accessions that represent manuscript and photograph collections and university archives. Accession records in ArchivesSpace contain minimal information: most records list the accession number, accession date, a brief description of the materials, and name of donor. Accession data was then cross-referenced with the corresponding archival collections to determine what the collection is about based on the subject headings assigned and abstract notes in the finding aid. The accession data was compiled into a spreadsheet and coded based on the diverse categories established by the authors, as well as UNLV SCA’s primary collecting areas.

Accession data was then marked as “diverse” or “non-diverse” based on the primary subject.30 A “COUNTIF” formula was applied to count every time an accession was coded with a particular category. In total, 569 (34.6 percent) accessions were identified as diverse based on the categories defined for this project. Over time there have been 313 accessions that include “women’’ as a primary collecting area. Fifty accessions that were originally coded as about “women” were later recategorized upon reviewing the corresponding collections. These collections often include women’s names in the collection title; however, a review of finding aid descriptions revealed that these were collections donated by women, but the materials themselves were not representative of women in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada history. Many of these accessions were related to photograph collections that contain photographs depicting locations around Las Vegas such as casinos and other landmarks.

Nevertheless, collections about women comprise the majority of all “diverse” collections (53.9 percent). The high number of collections about women may have direct correlation with the establishment of the Nevada Women’s Archive (NWA) in 1994. The NWA was started as part of a statewide effort to collect and preserve the papers of women and women’s organizations, and forty three (13.7 percent) of UNLV SCA’s women’s collections were acquired between 1994 and 1997.31 Likewise, the establishment of community documentation grant projects like Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas (2012–17) and the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project (2014–18) community projects show a similar increase in collections documenting those specific communities during the years the grant is active. The majority of African American (twelve out of twenty-eight) and Jewish related accessions (fifty-three out of fifty-eight) were acquired during the grant periods.


Number of Mainstream and Diverse Accessions per Year

Figure 1. Number of Mainstream and Diverse Accessions per Year

Accession data is valuable to analyze diverse collecting over time, but UNLV SCA had to manually cross-reference collection descriptions to supplement the description in the accession records themselves. This method was partially subjective and based on the accessioning archivist’s expertise and knowledge of SCA’s collecting strengths. This may not be as worthwhile as simply assessing the collections in their current state and focusing on the future. However, adding specific tags or subject headings to new accession records can facilitate accession-level analysis in the future. Ciszek and Young discuss the use of diversity codes as a method for quantitative collection-centered assessment. This type of assessment uses a list of pre-determined diversity codes that are entered into accession records at the point of acquisition. Reports can then be run on these codes in records to assess collection development efforts. However, Ciszek and Young also stress the importance of ensuring that the guidelines and methods for using diversity codes in assessment are well-defined and applied consistently across all acquisitions data.32

Overall, the number of diverse collections acquired by UNLV SCA has increased over the years; however these diverse collections remain in the minority of materials collected in any given year. Accession analysis and/or regular collection analysis can help archives track progress over time, especially in response to changing goals. It can also help gauge if collecting efforts initiated by grant funding are sustained over time. Due to the unstandardized and often sparse nature of accession records, it is important to plan ahead when setting assessment goals in order to reliably measure progress.

Archival Collections

SCATS uses ArchivesSpace, an open-source archival collection management application, to manage archival collection information for manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, and the university archives. SCATS uses ArchivesSpace to create and publish finding aids for collections, as well as maintain authorized and local name authorities and subject headings. In order to analyze the discoverability of diverse collections through the use of finding aids, it was determined that subject headings, and their use in finding aids, would be the most advantageous place to begin.

In spring of 2020, a full export of subject headings in ArchivesSpace was produced for analysis. The export listed 1,467 subjects, and the authors manually analyzed the list to determine what subject headings represented diversity based on the categories identified for this paper, which included historically excluded communities, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, labor/activism, and disability. The list of diverse and inclusive headings was eventually narrowed down to 326 subjects. These subjects were grouped under broad categories. Using these as tags, the authors created a list of all associated finding aids linked to these subject headings in order to analyze whether these linked collections are indeed representative of diverse communities and identities. Usage statistics for manuscript and photograph collections compiled from the SCA Public Services were also analyzed to determine frequency of use by researchers. A number of questions were raised during the analysis. Are subject headings appropriately applied to collections considered to be diverse/inclusive? Are these collections being used? Why or why not?

From the snapshot produced in spring 2020, 23.9 percent of subject headings found in ArchivesSpace were classified as diverse, and 76.1 percent were not classified into a diversity category. Out of 4,596 finding aids in ArchivesSpace, 1,477 (32 percent) were linked to at least one diverse subject heading.33 The collection type with the highest number of diverse subject headings was overwhelmingly oral histories with 1,035 (70 percent). This is partially due to the volume of oral histories described in ArchivesSpace using item-level description. In addition, recent initiatives in SCA to increase the diversity of collections have included collecting a large number of oral history interviews.34 Going forward, SCA plans to collect archival materials in addition to oral histories to increase the number of diverse collections that reflect the lived experiences represented in the communities’ oral histories.


Collection Types with at Least One Diverse Subject Heading Applied

Figure 2. Collection Types with at Least One Diverse Subject Heading Applied

The diverse subject headings were further analyzed in conjunction with usage statistics for manuscript collections in the SCA Reading Room. As Ciszek and Young note, “Circulation and use statistics can also provide valuable insight into user needs in an unobtrusive way. By reviewing online catalog searches and the circulation statistics…libraries can determine subject areas where collection development needs to be focused.”35 The corresponding diversity subject areas for the top ten most used collections in the reading room are as follows: women (League of Women Voters of Las Vegas, Dunes Hotel and Casino Records, Mesquite Club Records, Minsky’s Burlesque Records, Helen J. Stewart Papers, Charles P. and Delphine Squires Papers, Donn Arden Papers, and Sands Hotel Public Relations Records); labor (Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Records); and socioeconomic status (Howard Cannon Papers). However, many of these collections that have subject headings under the category of “women” are hotel and casino corporate records that typically include many images of showgirls and dancers, and these images are some of the most frequently requested material. While women and showgirls are represented in these collections, the materials are not necessarily demonstrative of diversity or inclusive of all women in the Las Vegas Valley.

Analyzing usage statistics is common in special collections and archives, but is problematic because it only accounts for the materials that are described well enough to be discovered. As Ciszek and Young point out, “collection and use statistics focus solely on internal measures and fail to account for the wealth of diversity-related materials not included in the collection.”36 Even if collections representing marginalized communities and identities are available, they are more likely to be underdescribed or not described at all, limiting the potential for discovery and use.

The nature of archival description presents unique issues in terms of access, discovery, and inclusion in relation to users. It also complicates the implementation of assessment methods such as collection analysis and usage statistics. While descriptive standards for archives are well documented and widely implemented, the practice of description is inherently personal and easily influenced by the individual humans and institutional policies responsible for creating it. Archivists are unable to escape personal and institutional bias, despite past efforts to remain neutral in archival description. Terry Cook notes that “archivists inevitably will inject their own values, experiences, and education, and reflect those of various external pressures, into all such research and decision-making.”37 Yet for both users and staff, the discovery and assessment of diverse collections depend on description.

Archival description also suffers from the same problems faced by academic library general collections in relation to the use of controlled vocabularies such as Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH). Besides bias and subjectivity in their application, subject headings are also problematic for many other reasons. Most access systems are now set up so that by default most users are keyword searching the entire description, rather than searching only by subject headings. Erin Baucom highlighted some of the issues related to the archival description of LGBTQ collections (which also hold true for many other communities and identities), including the diversity of labels and terms used in communities, changes in the use and meaning of terms over time, and the importance of self-identification.38 Authority terms are often out-of-date and slow to change, and not reflective of how a group refers to itself. This is a well-documented issue and makes archival description, cataloging, and metadata creation challenging, and at times inappropriate and/or inaccurate.39 Harmful description must be addressed in unique and creative ways, such as changing the display labels while maintaining the authority record in the backend of a system for search and retrieval purposes. Some other strategies to facilitate respectful and accurate description include collaborating with creators and the communities represented in collections, using alternative controlled vocabularies, hiring staff with subject expertise, and providing ongoing training, guidance, and resources for archives staff.40

UNLV SCA chose to analyze existing subject terms because they are valuable and standardized access points to collection materials, and the datasets were readily available for coding. However, current local practice for adding subject headings is inconsistent and varies by project, and quality control focuses on accuracy more than comprehensiveness (i.e., “Are the terms applied correct?” rather than “Are there more terms that should be added?” General guidance is that three to five subject terms should be added to each finding aid or digital object). Staff could search the rest of the collection descriptions for a variety of terms to locate collections to add subject headings for increased access. Either subject heading or keyword searching could also be used to identify collections for reparative redescription, additional processing, digitization, or promotion.41 Jessica Tai highlights the need for archives to audit archival descriptions for “oppressive, euphemistic, or misrepresentative language,” and advocates using a framework of cultural humility to redescribe archival materials.42 The use of more inclusive controlled vocabulary terms and a more empathetic and inclusive approach to archival description in general improves access and discovery for users.

Digital Collections

UNLV Digital Collections provides public online access to a selection of digitized and born-digital items from UNLV Special Collections and Archives. In the digital asset management system (DAMS) used at the time of this study, CONTENTdm, digital objects are grouped into twenty-three different digital collections. The collection titles and descriptions were reviewed to determine which ones are focused on traditionally underrepresented groups. Six out of twenty-three digital collections (26 percent) focus on underrepresented groups.

Google Analytics was used to compare how many unique page views per digital object and per item each collection received in 2019. However, the display of digital objects in different access systems can greatly affect assessment using web analytics. A digital object in CONTENTdm can be a single object, which is only one item (digital file), or a compound object, which consists of multiple items grouped together. Items within compound objects do not appear in search results, only the parent record of the compound object. However, in CONTENTdm there is no separate webpage for compound object parents. Parent-level metadata appears on each item page.

One of the easiest ways to isolate analytics for subsets of materials is using URL structure. UNLV filtered the Google Analytics data by URL (e.g. /digital/collection/cwu/id) to isolate the item pages of each digital collection. Contextual websites, landing pages, and search pages were excluded from the data. The six diversity-focused digital collections consisted of 14 percent of all digital objects, 42 percent of total items, and 17 percent of total unique page views.43

Thematic digital collections are a main entry point to UNLV Digital Collections materials, but other materials from and about underrepresented communities are present in UNLV’s “catch-all” digital collections for photograph, oral history, and manuscript collections materials. Analysis by digital collection therefore does not take into account every “diverse” digital object. The structure of CONTENTdm facilitates analysis by digital collection, and web analytics can be easily filtered by digital collection because of the URL structure. The ease of assessment via web analytics depends on URL structure, or else a more intensive process of cross-referencing URLs and analytics data with the digital objects each URL corresponds to, and figuring out which digital objects are “diverse” (which could be determined by subject headings as discussed below). However, analytics data suffers from some of the same issues as in-person usage statistics, mainly that if an item is not described well it will be less discoverable and less used.

Subject terms in UNLV Digital Collections were analyzed by downloading Dublin Core metadata for each digital collection from CONTENTdm. A master spreadsheet of all items from all collections and all of their assigned subject terms was created. Every collection had slightly different metadata fields, so item records had up to four different fields with subject terms from different controlled vocabularies. OpenRefine was used to clean up the data, and then the terms were coded according to the categories outlined in the “Defining diversity” section of this article. The terms in the subject fields were from multiple different vocabularies and included topics, forms, events, titles, and personal, corporate, and geographic names. For this analysis, only topical terms were categorized. This was a labor-intensive process between cleaning the subject metadata of over 240,000 records and coding over 5,000 subject terms.

The authors found that 17,069 records (single objects, complex object parent records, or complex object child records) were assigned at least one subject term that was categorized as diverse.44 Dividing this number by the total number of records that have subject terms assigned to them shows that 28 percent of the records with subject headings include at least one subject heading categorized as diverse.45 This is most likely an underestimate of the number of diverse items in UNLV Digital Collections because about 180,000 items (mainly complex object children) do not have any subject terms applied to them.

Digital Collections metadata suffers from many of the same problems as archival description. At UNLV, there are no consistent guidelines for applying subject terms, and quality control only assures that the subject headings applied are accurate, not that they are comprehensive. Controlled vocabulary terms are slow to change, yet UNLV still privileges mainstream vocabularies such as OCLC’s FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology). Although digital object metadata standards can be more prescriptive than archival description, digital object description is still highly subject to bias, especially since UNLV has not implemented any guidelines specifically for inclusive description, or undertaken any efforts in reparative description. Finally, subject heading analysis is not directly relevant to discoverability because searching by subject headings is not nearly as common as searching by keyword. In fact, the UNLV Digital Collections main search box defaults to keyword searching. Despite these caveats, this imperfect assessment of digital collections still provides estimates that can inform redescription efforts and digitization selection in the future.


Momentum for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work in archives is currently high, and many institutions and repositories have issued statements and revised their policies and strategic plans to prioritize DEI. Assessment can help archivists and administrators identify strengths and weaknesses within their programs and collections, and it also provides accountability to the communities they serve. Anecdotal examples and high profile initiatives can provide evidence that archives are working toward becoming more diverse and equitable, but a comprehensive analysis of quantitative data may show a different picture of how resources are being employed over time.

In this article, the authors shared their strategies for analyzing various data to gauge DEI efforts at UNLV SCA, including past strategic plans; collecting initiatives, grants, and outreach events; accessions of archival materials; and subject headings applied to finding aids for archival collections and metadata for digital objects. The authors found that DEI goals have consistently been included in strategic plans for the past ten years, and that community-focused grant projects have greatly contributed to increasing diversity and inclusion in collections and events. However, “diversity” (i.e., representation and inclusion of underengaged communities and identities) was a small proportion of the whole in many cases: 25 percent of grant-funded projects, 23 percent of events, 35 percent of accessions, 32 percent of archival collections, and 28 percent of digital collections records. As discussed above, this analysis was limited to one specific institution, and the methods used have their caveats and weaknesses but it demonstrates that more work and therefore more resources are needed to increase visibility, representation, and engagement. UNLV SCA is part of a research university where data-driven decision making is highly valued, so quantitative data can hopefully be effective in advocating for additional resources. The analysis also identified specific areas for improvement, including collecting, outreach, description, and digitization.

Assessment of DEI work should not replace or take away resources from doing actual DEI work (such as reparative description, outreach, community collaboration, etc.), but assessment using data that already exists and is relatively straightforward to analyze could help any archive identify strengths and weaknesses, and also strengthen requests for funding. Finally, it must be recognized that UNLV’s assessment as described in this article was internally focused. Archives should proactively gather input from the communities they serve regarding the types of representation and DEI work they want the archives to pursue. For UNLV SCA and other academic archives and special collections, this includes collaborating with faculty to assess how collecting practices support research and teaching and identifying and filling gaps.46 It also includes working with students, student groups, alumni, and the local community. Further research into assessment and DEI should focus externally as well as internally, and should explore how archives are accountable to the communities they serve. Such research should also explore whether archives and special collections are following through on promises many of them have publicly made, especially in the last two years.

Appendix A: Grants

Table of UNLV SCA grant-funded projects that received funding from federal, state, and private sources from 2010 to 2020. Projects coded as “diverse” are denoted in bold and italics.



Funding Source


Reflections: Asian American & Pacific Islander Oral History Project



Inventing Hollywood: Preserving and Providing Access to the Papers of Renegade Genius Howard Hughes

National Endowment for the Humanities


Robert Paluzzi Panoramic Photograph Digitization Project

The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation


Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada



Building the Pipelines: Large-Scale Digitization Models for Nevada Cultural Heritage

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant


Online Access for the City of Las Vegas Commission Minutes (1911–1960) and Ordinances

Las Vegas Centennial Commission


Early Las Vegas Newspapers Project

Las Vegas Centennial Commission


Raising the Curtain: Large-Scale Digitization Models for Nevada Cultural Heritage

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant


Workers Unite!: Increasing Public Access to the History of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226



America’s Great Gamble: A Project to Promote the Discovery of Sources about the Expansion of Legalized Gambling across the United States

National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)


Documenting the African-American Experience in Las Vegas

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant; VegasPBS


The Southern Nevada Jewish Community Heritage Project

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant


NDNP cycle 3

National Digital Newspaper Program (Library of Congress)


NDNP cycle 2

National Digital Newspaper Program (Library of Congress)


NDNP cycle 1

National Digital Newspaper Program (Library of Congress)


Rebel Yell Digital Collection [student newspaper]

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant; UNLV CSUN and GPSA funding


Dreaming the Skyline

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant


Historic Landscape of Nevada

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant


Menus: The Art of Dining

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant


Southern Nevada: The Boomtown Years 1900-1925

Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant

Appendix B: Accessions

Table of UNLV accession records by diversity category, 1967–2020.


Number of Accession Records

Percentage of Diverse Accession Records

Percentage of All Accession Records

Asian American and Pacific Islander




African American
























Latter Day Saints movement
























Appendix C: Subject Heading Analysis

Table of UNLV archival collections and digital objects subject heading analysis by diversity category.


Number of Archival Collections

Percentage of Archival Collections

Number of Digital Objects

Percentage of Digital Objects

Population Estimates

Asian American and Pacific Islander











African Americans











< 1%













Criminal justice











Diversity and discrimination





General religious terms












Immigration and emigration






Indigenous peoples











< 1%













Latter Day Saint Movement












Older people












Sex work



























Notes on the table above:

  • The number of archival collections (OH, MS, PH, UA) in each category was calculated by counting the number of finding aids in ArchivesSpace with at least one subject term from the category applied.
  • The number of finding aids with at least one subject term from the diverse category applied was divided by the total number of finding aids (4,596) to find the percentage of archival collections.
  • The number of digital objects was calculated by counting the number of digital object records with at least one subject term from the category applied.
  • Many complex digital object child records and some single objects and complex object parent records do not have any subject terms applied to them. Out of 240,999 digital object records total, 60,904 (25%) records had at least one subject term applied.
  • The number of digital object records with at least one subject term from the category applied was divided by the total number of records with at least one subject term applied (60,904) to find the percentage of digital objects.
  • *From the U.S. Census Bureau population estimates for Clark County, Nevada, July 1, 2019, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/clarkcountynevada/PST045219.
  • From the Pew Research Center 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study, Adults in Nevada, https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/nevada/.
  • From https://censusreporter.org/profiles/05000US32003-clark-county-nv/.
  • 73% of adults in Nevada say that religion is somewhat or very important in their life.
  • 22.2% foreign-born persons estimated in Clark County Nevada in 2019.
  • 63.8% of the population, age 16 or older, in the civilian labor force.
  • LGBTQ population estimate from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/visualization/lgbt-stats/?topic=LGBT&area=32#density
  • For more information about sex work in Nevada, see K. Hausbeck, B. G. Brents, and C. Jackson (2006). “Sex Industry and Sex Workers in Nevada.” In Dmitri N. Shalin, The Social Health of Nevada: Leading Indicators and Quality of Life in the Silver State 1–17. Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/social_health_nevada_reports/24.

Appendix D: Digital Collections

Table of UNLV digital objects, items, and page views in UNLV digital collections for projects representing diverse communities

Digital Collection Name


Percentage of Total Digital Objects

Percentage of Total Items

Percentage of Total Unique Page Views

African American Experience

in Las Vegas

African American community




Culinary Workers Union Local 226 Photographs

Labor union




Rebel Yell Digital Collection

UNLV students









Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project

Jewish community





UNLV students




All others





1. Trevor A. Dawes, “Statements and Accountability,” Trevor A. Dawes personal website, June 4, 2020, https://trevordawes.wordpress.com/2020/06/04/statements/ [Accessed September 20, 2021].

2. “SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives,” Society of American Archivists, June 2, 2020, https://www2.archivists.org/statements/saa-council-statement-on-black-lives-and-archives#:~:text=June%202%2C%202020%E2%80%94We%2C,violence%20against%20the%20Black%20community.&text=As%20a%20profession%2C%20we%20stand,unequivocally%2C%20that%20Black%20Lives%20Matter [Accessed September 28, 2021].

3. “ACRL Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians,” Association of College and Research Libraries, June 19, 2020, https://rbms.info/standards/code_of_ethics/ [Accessed January 7, 2022].

4. Some examples include Bergis Jules, “Confronting Our Failure of Care around Legacies of Marginalized People in the Archives,” On Archivy (Nov. 2016), https://medium.com/on-archivy/confronting-our-failure-of-care-around-the-legacies-of-marginalized-people-in-the-archives-dc4180397280 [Accessed September 28, 2021]. Michelle Caswell, “Teaching to Dismantle White Supremacy in Archives,” The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy 87, no. 3, (Jul. 2017), https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/692299 [Accessed September 28, 2021]. Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, “Moving toward a Reparative Archive: A Roadmap for a Holistic Approach to Disrupting Homogenous Histories in Academic Repositories and Creating Inclusive Spaces for Marginalized Voices,” Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies 5 (2018), https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas/vol5/iss1/6 [Accessed September 28, 2021].

5. It may also be more appropriate not to collect or provide access to certain records. Post-custodial and community archiving models allow communities to retain custody of and agency over their own records, with a role for archivists to consult and/or provide certain services, such as online access, description, or online access to digital surrogates. See Bergis Jules, “Let the People Lead: Supporting Sustainability vs Dependency Models for Funding Community-Based Archives,” Medium, November 3, 2017, https://medium.com/on-archivy/let-the-people-lead-supporting-sustainability-vs-dependency-models-for-funding-community-based-82f76d54c483 [Accessed September 21, 2021].

6. Kelly Bolding, “Reparative Processing: A Case Study in Auditing Legacy Archival Description for Racism,” Slides presented at the Midwest Archives Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2018, https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1MhOXx5ZlVjb_8pfvvFquMqLsUUlOHFFMT4js5EP4qnA/edit#slide=id.p. SAA Native American Archives Section and Human Rights Archives Section, “Toward Inclusive Reading Rooms: Recommendations for Decolonizing Practices and Welcoming Indigenous Researchers,” Archival Outlook, January/February 2021. Livia Iacovino, “Rethinking Archival, Ethical and Legal Frameworks for Records of Indigenous Australian Communities: A Participant Relationship Model of Rights and Responsibilities,” Archival Science 10 (2010): 353–72. Bergis Jules, “Preserving Social Media Records of Activism,” On Archivy (Nov. 2015), https://medium.com/on-archivy/preserving-social-media-records-of-activism-26e0f1751869 [Accessed February 4, 2022]. First Archivist Circle, “Protocols for Native American Archival Materials,” 2007, https://www2.nau.edu/libnap-p/protocols.html [Accessed September 28, 2021].

7. “Projects of the Oral History Research Center,” UNLV University Libraries Special Collections & Archive, https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/ohrc/projects [Accessed October 26, 2021].

8. Brian Keough, “Documenting Diversity: Developing Special Collections of Underdocumented Groups,” Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 26, no. 3 (2002): 241–51, https://doi.org/10.1080/14649055.2002.10765857, p. 247.

9. Steven McKinzie, “A Multicultural Studies Collection Enhancement Group: A Model for Preemptive Collection Development in a Small Academic Library,” The Reference Librarian 21, no. 45–6 (1994): 187–96, https://doi.org/10.1300/J120v21n45_18.

10. Lois Buttlar, “Facilitating Cultural Diversity in College and University Libraries,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 20, no. 1 (1994): 10–14, https://doi.org/10.1016/0099-1333(94)90128-7, p.10–11.

11. Matthew P. Ciszek and Courtney L. Young, “Diversity Collection Assessment in Large Academic Libraries,” Collection Building 29, no. 4 (2010): 154–61, https://doi.org/10.1108/01604951011088899, p.154.

12. Lisa R. Carter, “Articulating Value: Building a Culture of Assessment in Special Collections,” RBM : A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 13, no. 2 (2012): 89–99, https://doi.org/10.5860/rbm.13.2.376.

13. Carter, “Articulating Value,” 90.

14. Ibid, 94.

15. Melanie Griffin, Barbara Lewis, and Mark I. Greenberg, “Data-Driven Decision Making: An Holistic Approach to Assessment in Special Collections Repositories,” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 8, no. 2 (2013): 225, https://doi.org10.18438/B8D03M, p. 227. Another example is the “PACSCL Hidden Collections Processing Project,” Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections (2013), http://clir.pacscl.org/ [Accessed September 28, 2021].

16. The most recent issue of US News & World Report on Campus Ethnic Diversity (2022) ranked UNLV first (in a four-way tie) in ethnic diversity of undergraduates at national universities. https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/campus-ethnic-diversity [Accessed September 21, 2021].

17. “Land acknowledgement statement,” University of Nevada, Las Vegas, https://www.unlv.edu/about/statements-compliance/land-acknowledgement [Accessed January 28, 2022].

18. “Collection Strengths,” UNLV Special Collections and Archives, https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/collecting_strengths [Accessed September 28, 2021].

19. UNLV creates finding aids that are compliant with Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) from the Society of American Archivists (2021) v2021.0.0.2, https://github.com/saa-ts-dacs/dacs [Accessed September 28, 2021].

20. Ciszek and Young, “Diversity Collection Assessment,”155–59.

21. “Mission Statement,” UNLV University Libraries, https://www.library.unlv.edu/about/mission_statement [Accessed 28 September 2021].

22. United States Employment and Training Administration, “Race & Color, Protected Characteristics,” United States Department of Labor, https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/apprenticeship/eeo/protected/race-color [Accessed September 28, 2021].

23. 97 percent of Mormons described Mormonism as a Christian religion, but many non-Mormon U.S. adults said the opposite. For this reason, and because the LDS movement has a distinct history in the Southwest, it is categorized separately in this study. “Mormons in America – Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society,” Pew Research Center, 2012, https://www.pewforum.org/2012/01/12/mormons-in-america-executive-summary/ [Accessed September 28, 2021].

24. 2009–2011, 2011–2015 Strategic Plans, UNLV University Libraries.

25. 2015–2017 Strategic Plan, UNLV University Libraries.

26. 2015–2017 Strategic Plan, UNLV University Libraries.

27. See Appendix A for a table of all UNLV SCA grants from 2014 to 2020.

28. It should be noted that a number of events take place outside of the library; however these were deemed out of scope for this project. These off-campus events involve library staff but may not be officially sponsored or put on by UNLV Libraries.

29. “We Need to Talk: Conversations on Racism for a More Resilient Las Vegas,” UNLV Special Collections and Archives and the Oral History Research Center (2020–21), https://www.library.unlv.edu/weneedtotalk [Accessed October 14, 2021].

30. See Appendix B for a table of accession records by diversity category.

31. “Collecting Strengths - Nevada Women’s Archives,” UNLV Special Collections and Archives, https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/collecting_strengths/nwa [Accessed October 26, 2021].

32. Ciszek and Young, “Diversity Collection Assessment,” 157.

33. See Appendix C for the results of the subject heading analysis by diversity category.

34. Projects include Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas, Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project, Latinx Voices of Southern Nevada, and Reflections: The Las Vegas Asian American & Pacific Islander Oral History Project.

35. Ciszek and Young, 157.

36. Ibid., 158.

37. Terry Cook, “Evidence, Memory, Identity, and Community: Four Shifting Archival Paradigms,” Archival Science 10 (2013): 102.

38. Erin Baucom, “An Exploration into Archival Descriptions of LGBTQ Materials,” The American Archivist 81, no. 1 (2018): 65–83, https://doi.org/10.17723/0360-9081-81.1.65.

39. Melissa Adler, “Transcending Library Catalogs: A Comparative Study of Controlled Terms in Library of Congress Subject Headings and User-Generated Tags in LibraryThing for Transgender Books,” Journal of Web Librarianship, 3, no. 4 (2009): 309–31, https://doi.org/10.1080/19322900903341099.

40. Karen Smith-Yoshimura, “Strategies for alternate subject headings and maintaining subject headings,” OCLC Research, October 29, 2019, https://hangingtogether.org/?p=7591 [Accessed September 28, 2021]. Sine Hwang Jensen, Melissa S. Stoner, and Lillian Castillo-Speed, “Metadata Justice: At the Intersection of Social Justice and Cataloging,” 2019 ACRL President’s Program (blog). EDI Discussions Series, Association of College and Research Libraries, March 25, 2019, https://acrl.libguides.com/c.php?g=899144&p=6468942&t=34793 [Accessed September 28, 2021].

41. “Archives for Black Lives Anti-Racist Description Resources,” Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group (2019), https://archivesforblacklives.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/ardr_final.pdf. See also Noah Geraci, “Programmatic Approaches to Bias in Descriptive Metadata,” Slides presented at Code4Lib 2019, San Jose, California (February 2019), https://osf.io/tyk6q/ [Accessed September 28, 2021].

42. Jessica Tai, “The Power of Words: Cultural Humility as a Framework for Anti-Oppressive Archival Description” in “Radical Empathy in Archival Practice,” special issue, Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 3 (2019).

43. See Appendix D for a table of results by digital collection.

44. See Appendix C for the results of the subject heading analysis by diversity category.

45. Many complex object child records and some single objects and complex object parent records do not have any subject terms applied to them. Out of 240,999 records total (25 percent), 60,904 had at least one subject term applied.

46. McKinzie, “Multicultural Studies Collection Enhancement Group,” 189.

* Sarah R. Jones is Special Collections & Archives Technical Services Librarian, email: sarah.jones1@unlv.edu; Emily Lapworth is Digital Special Collections & Archives Librarian, email: emily.lapworth@unlv.edu; Tammi Kim is Special Collections & Archives Technical Services Librarian, email: tammi.kim@unlv.edu; all are at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The authors would like to acknowledge and thank Karla Irwin for her contributions to the initial research for this article. ©2023 Sarah R. Jones, Emily Lapworth, and Tammi Kim, Attribution-NonCommercial (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) CC BY-NC.

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