NCSHS Collections Content Statement

Some catalog records featured on this website may include content and language that is upsetting and/or harmful. These records do not reflect our values, and North Carolina State Historic Sites (NCSHS) is committed to building a welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment. The records are included to present an honest account of our history. This upsetting content may fall into one of two categories: 

A brass spittoon with "Redman Tobacco" on front.
A brass spittoon with "Redskin Brand" tobacco on front. (HS.2008.114.159)

1.)    Problematic artifacts: 

Objects reflect language and attitudes from historical periods in which they were created. Some objects can include language, images, or sentiments which stem from racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia, or are otherwise harmful or discriminatory. NCSHS recognizes that such language, images, and sentiments are unacceptable today. Material culture is preserved in the historical record to document perspectives of the past. Preservation of these materials is important in our effort to learn from history and better our future. 

Original artifacts and archival records cannot be altered. Objects may depict words and imagery that are problematic and outdated. Catalog records depicting harmful and discriminatory artifacts on this webpage will be flagged with a notice. 

2.)    Problematic catalog records:

A book and text displaying example of a problematic artifact description
Example of a problematic catalog record describing the figures on the cover as an "Indian and Frontiersman." (HS.1963.115.11)

Descriptions of original materials (catalog records) however, can be altered. NCSHS staff have created catalog records for decades. Over time, best practices for cataloging have changed and descriptions in catalog records themselves may be outdated or exhibit discriminatory and unacceptable language. NCSHS is working to update catalog records using inclusive terminology. Some language used in catalog descriptions that directly quotes content from objects such as titles of original books, articles, songs, films, or wording that appears on/in objects may be retained in catalog record descriptions. Such wording may be retained in catalog records for searchability but do not represent language that NCSHS staff would use in staff -generated descriptions of the objects. 

With over 85,000 objects and catalog records across NCSHS, the work of conscientious cataloging takes time. NCSHS staff is working with communities to ensure that staff-generated language in catalog records accurately depicts how communities represented in the collections describe themselves today. Catalog records with outdated staff-generated descriptions may not yet be flagged with notices. If you come across a catalog record that exhibits unacceptable staff-generated language or sentiments, please feel free to reach out to NCSHS staff at Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work towards a completely inclusive catalog.