In growing recognition of problems with many historical and current classifications of Indigenous peoples, some memory institutions are beginning to adopt Traditional Knowledge (TK) labeling practices as a metadata standard that informs catalog users of specific Indigenous community access and use terms. This research is to examine whether TK Labels as developed with Local Contexts are effective educational tools that return control over access and use to Indigenous communities. In this research I close read ten bibliographic records in the Ancestral Voices digital collection describing three re-cataloged wax cylinders belonging to the Passamaquoddy people. I found that TK Label fail to position the Passamaquoddy people as authorities of their belongings. In doing so TK Labels are not effective educational tools for non-Indigenous catalog users. I argue that merely superimposing TK Labels onto existing cataloging standards does not address the underlying issue of continuing to keep the legacy information, such as the title of the material. I discuss implications for memory institutions investing in this new cataloging practice of TK Labels and provide suggested user experience and design interventions to mitigate usability challenges.
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UMSI Master's Thesis: Traditional Knowledge Labels in the ;;Ancestral Voices” Collection: Legacy Data, User Experience Design, and Cataloging Rules