The Cultural Heritage IT (CHIT) Steering Committee convened a Bias Awareness and Responsibility Committee in September 2020, tasked with the following charge:
Yale has embarked upon an effort to improve the discovery and presentation of cultural heritage assets across its rich, diverse and vibrant collections. This effort, LUX, has put a spotlight on systemic issues in the data and the methods by which it is created and managed in the areas of bias, oppression, and cultural appropriation from the creation of the objects through to the curation of the collections. As cultural heritage institutions of Yale, we are committed to improving our content and its presentation to further the awareness and understanding of the heritage resources for which we are the current custodians.
The Bias Awareness and Responsibility for Cultural Heritage Committee is tasked with considering the issues of implicit and explicit bias within the knowledge systems that manage our heritage collection data, its exposure via LUX and other publication channels, and with developing a series of recommendations for addressing these concerns. As its first step, due Jan 2021, the Committee will develop a statement to articulate our shared commitment to core values, that reflect the consensus across the collecting units. Once established, those core values will guide the development of an action plan, created in dialogue with other established committees, for how to implement appropriate change in a timely and reasonable fashion. The Committee’s recommendations will be shared regularly with unit and institutional stakeholders as they are being developed, and feedback on them will be sought in order to ensure they are effective and appropriate. Once complete, they will be circulated with the recommendation that they be adopted and put into practice, including in the LUX cross-collection discovery application. It is hoped that they will positively inform and steer future work within the units for data remediation and enhancing presentation interfaces. A report of the recommendations is due in June 2021.
2020-2021 Bias Awareness and Responsibility Committee members:
Rob Sanderson and Elizabeth Williams (co-chairs), Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Erin Gredell, Molleen Theodore, Lindsay King, Alison Clemens, Yer Vang-Cohen, Gabriela Redwine, Ed Town, Sarah Prown (PM)