Language in Finding Aids
The State Historical Society of Missouri collects materials documenting all aspects of Missouri history. Some of our paper and digital collections as well as older finding aids may include harmful or outdated language and could be considered offensive. SHSMO does not censor its collections, but we endeavor to be accurate and inclusive in how we describe them.
We are committed to revising and updating our descriptive language; however, with thousands of finding aids, this is ongoing and will take time. When processing new collections, we will occasionally re-use language provided by creators and former owners of the collection because it provides important context about the materials or appears in the formal names of organizations or titles of materials in the collection. In all finding aids, archivists work to contextualize the contents of manuscript collections.
When searching in primary sources, including newspapers, digitized manuscripts, and even collection finding aids, you may need to search for historical terminology that is less common or considered offensive today but was used in the past.