UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Misrepresentation in the Surrogate : Author Critiques of “Indians of North America” Subject Headings Bullard, Julia; Watson, Brian; Purdome, Caitlin


The surrogate record for a book in the library catalogue contains subject headings applied on the basis of literary warrant. To assess the extent to which terms like “Indians of North America” are accurate to the content of the items with that label, we invited the items’ creators to critique their surrogate records. In interviews with 38 creators we found consensus against the term “Indians of North America” and identified a periphery of related terms that misrepresent the content of the work, are out of alignment with their scholarly communities, and reproduce settler colonial biases in our library systems.

Item Citations and Data


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