Access to Special Collections and University Archives materials is by appointment only, restricted to the following Stanford ID cardholders: Stanford professors (including emeriti), post-docs, graduate students, fellows, and Stanford visiting scholars. You must first request materials in SearchWorks. Once your materials arrive, you will be able to schedule an appointment to visit the Special Collections reading room.
Special Collections and University Archives Statement on Potentially Harmful Language in Cataloging and Archival Description
We acknowledge that description is not neutral, nor are we. We aim to describe our materials in an informative and accurate manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. However, Stanford Special Collections and University Archives staff created many of our catalog records and finding aids years or even decades ago, and what constitutes appropriate description varies with context, time, and the positionality of the description creator. In addition, because it is common practice to re-use language provided by creators, former owners, and vendors, and to re-use catalog records from other libraries, users may encounter offensive or harmful language in our descriptions.
We are implementing practices to address offensive or harmful language as part of routine description work, and we also encourage users to provide feedback to help us address these concerns. We recognize that terminology evolves over time and that efforts to create respectful and inclusive descriptions must be ongoing.
When Parker on the Web 2.0 launched in 2018, it was the culmination of a long-term development plan to host an international collaborative project on sustainable infrastructure at no cost to the user. The engineering effort was immense, and that effort paid off: we saw a nearly 10-fold increase in visitors to the site, and the incorporation of IIIF functionality to the Parker manuscript content allowed the digital objects to be used in a myriad of new projects, from AI-driven initiatives like handwritten text recognition and feature recognition, to crowdsourcing transcription projects, and aggregation and reuse across multiple platforms. While Parker 2.0 was a technical success, the intellectual content of the site - the painstakingly-crafted descriptive metadata produced in the late 2000s that drove Parker on the Web 1.0 - was not fully added to the new platform. Thanks to the encouragement of dedicated Parker on the Web users and scholars, we were able to prioritize a large-scale reassessment of the project descriptive metadata, identify gaps, and restore the manuscript descriptions to their full glory - improving the discovery functionality for the site and providing users with rich descriptions for every manuscript in the collection. Parker on the Web 2.1, released on March 3, 2021, finally completes the migration of the project from a stand-alone site built on bespoke software and using a customized and unique metadata structure to a sustainable and extensible collaboration built on open source software and common metadata standards.