MSSA Statement of Affirmation
Manuscripts and Archives (MSSA) affirms our commitment to adhering to the Yale University Library community values and to addressing bias and discrimination in our collections, services, spaces, and workplace.
In doing this work, we acknowledge the following:
- Archives and archivists are not neutral. Archives exist within systems that have traditionally privileged and welcomed narratives of the wealthy and powerful, particularly cisgender, heterosexual white men, and have often perpetuated practices that marginalize, suppress, and harm those with other perspectives and experiences.
- We cannot fully understand the experience of marginalized communities.
- We are not experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. This work, however, is an ongoing departmental priority and deserves our dedication, engagement, and willingness to act and to listen.
- We recognize our institutional and individual privileges as well as our responsibility to collaborate with local and professional communities in addressing DEI issues.
Moving forward, we strive to do the following:
- Embed our commitment to address DEI issues in our strategic planning, department and unit work plans, and individual goals.
- Embrace transparency in our work so we can be held accountable internally and externally.
- Address biases in our services, collection development and stewardship, descriptive practices, spaces, and workplace.
- Cultivate a safe workplace that empowers staff members and encourages open discussion.
- Educate ourselves and those around us on DEI issues, recognizing the various experiences and engagement of staff with DEI work.
- Assess progress on our efforts at least bi-annually.