Dismantling Racism in Collaborative Collections

Graphic representation of diverse hands raised togetherIn 2019, Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) launched a strategy that emphasized its commitment to empowering institutions and communities that have been historically marginalized, underserved, and underrepresented, and promoting diverse and inclusive collections and stories. As part of this work, DPLA recently launched the Black Women’s Suffrage Digital Collection, a collaborative project that provides access to 200,000+ archival materials that help tell the story of the critical role Black women played—and continue to play—in the voting rights and civil rights movements. In order to address the inclusion of harmful language in collection metadata, the DPLA Metadata Working Group created a harmful language statement to explain the work librarians and archivists must do to balance the preservation of the history of people who have experienced trauma and harm with sensitivity in how it is presented to users.

In this on-demand webinar, DPLA staff and representatives from DPLA’s network discuss opportunities, challenges, and learnings encountered during this work; outline next steps for DPLA and member institutions in creating more diverse and equitable collections; and cover anticipated challenges as this work continues.

Originally presented June 9, 2021.

Access to an auto-captioned version in Zoom is available with purchase.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how collections have been shaped by systemic racism;
  • Identify ways in which institutions can commit to combating the effects of systemic racism in collections; and
  • Have a model for identifying and remedying harmful language in collection metadata.

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for metadata librarians, archivists, curators, and other library practitioners responsible for the description and categorization of materials.


Shaneé Yvette MurrainShaneé Yvette Murrain is DPLA's director of community engagement. She identifies and develops services, partnerships, and products to support its national network. Previously, Shaneé was the university archivist and an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia. She holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Bethune-Cookman University, a Master of Divinity from Drew Theological School and a Master’s of Library Science from North Carolina Central University. As former director of library services and archivist at Payne Theological Seminary, she curated the Payne Theological Seminary and African Methodist Episcopal Church Digital Collection. Shaneé was also the 2019 president of the Society of Georgia Archivists and serves on the Board of Directors of Atla (formerly known as the American Theological Library Association). Shaneé believes that education is a spiritual encounter and is passionate about making sure people have the information they need to do the work they were called to do.

Penelope ShumakerPenelope Shumaker is the metadata librarian at the State Library of Ohio in Columbus. The State Library of Ohio manages the Ohio Digital Network, Ohio’s DPLA service hub. Penelope manages the metadata ingests from the Ohio Digital Network contributors into DPLA, then works with these contributors to remediate and refine their metadata. She is the co-chair of the DPLA Metadata Working Group. Penelope received her MLIS from Kent State University and a BA in Philosophy from Cedarville University.



Individual – PLA Personal Member $33.00
Individual – ALA Personal Member/Nonmember $49.00
Group* $199.00


* Group rate is for single library access, including all its branches/outlets. It applies if an on-demand webinar will be viewed by multiple people—viewing on an individual basis and/or in groups. Please contact plawebinars@ala.org for special pricing if you wish to share access to an on-demand webinar across multiple libraries in a consortium.

How to Register

Please note: As ALA transitions to a new, centralized eLearning site, this on-demand webinar is temporarily unavailable for purchase. If you’d like to purchase access to this on-demand webinar, please contact PLA at plawebinars@ala.org and we will follow up with you when this product is available on the new eLearning site.

Tech Requirements

To playback an archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, CEUs, or certificates of attendance/completion/participation for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to plawebinars@ala.org or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).