Offensive Content

Some collection items held by the University of Newcastle’s Special collections include insensitive wording, explicit or implicit expressions of racism, bigotry and offensive cultural or geographical references and stereotypes. While rejecting all discriminatory ideologies, languages and approaches, the University of Newcastle Special Collections, in the interest of honest research and interpretation, will continue to provide access to these materials within its collections, both physically and digitally. Accordingly, in order to preserve and accurately present historical materials, and to ensure that attitudes and viewpoints of the past are not erased from the historical record, we will continue to preserve transcribed titles, captions, full-text documents, and inscriptions.

The University Library Policy states: "Intellectual freedom: The Library will support the principles stated in the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Free access to information statement and recommendations by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) by developing collections that represent a variety of perspectives. Resources will not be censored or removed based on disapproval of the author’s political, social, moral, or other opinions or behaviour."

Special Collections staff are actively seeking to identify offensive content in our digital collections and provide content warnings and supplemental metadata at collection and item levels. Unlabelled offensive items may still exist in the collections. Items may exist that are taboo or culturally sensitive.