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Potentially Harmful Content Statement

The Judy Chicago Research Portal (JCRP) provides access to content from all stages of Judy Chicago’s artistic and pedagogical career. Contributions come from the following institutions:

  • National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA)

  • Nevada Museum of Art

  • Penn State Libraries

  • Schlesinger Library for the History of Women in America at Harvard

  • Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Each institution shares materials on the portal according to its specific policies and objectives. JCRP aggregates this digital content, which means the portal points back to partner organizations’ websites where the items are hosted.

The portal contains some content that may be harmful or disturbing to view. Portal partners collect materials representing all eras and aspects of Chicago’s career in order to preserve and make them available as part of the historical record. As a result, some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. Although Chicago’s work often critiques sexism, violence against women, gender inequity, and other forms of stereotyping and discrimination through a feminist lens, such images may still be disturbing.

What harmful or difficult content may be found in JCRP?

Some items may:

  • reflect or critique white supremacist and American imperialist ideologies, which include racist, sexist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions, attitudes, and stereotypes.

  • be discriminatory towards or exclude diverse views on sexuality, gender, ableism, religion, and more.

  • include graphic content such as violence, sexual violence, sex acts, and more.

Why does JCRP make potentially harmful content available?

JCRP and its partners collect, preserve, and present these materials as part of the historic record, which does include depictions and records of people experiencing trauma and harm. Librarians and archivists working in conjunction with JCRP seek to balance the preservation of this history with sensitivity to how these materials are presented to and perceived by users.

How is this material described, and why might some of the terms used in the descriptions be harmful?

  • Librarians and archivists often re-use language provided by creators or former owners of the material. This can provide important context, but can also reflect biases and prejudices.

  • Librarians and archivists often use a standardized set of terms, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, to describe materials. Some of these terms are outdated, offensive, or insensitive.

  • Librarians and archivists sometimes make mistakes or use poor judgement.

  • JCRP is committed to working with its partners to assess and update descriptions that are harmful.

How can I report harmful content?

You can help us understand this issue and find solutions by reporting harmful content.

JCRP will forward your report to the institution(s) that are responsible for the content and make it available through JCRP.  It is up to each individual institution to determine whether or not they will change or remove the content.  Institutions weigh potential harm against considerations such as accurate preservation of the historical record, professional best practices, and allocation of scarce resources.

JCRP will use all reports of harmful content to better understand the issue and educate other librarians and archivists.

 

 -Adapted from Digital Public Library of America’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content