The ArchivesSpace Code of Conduct covers our behavior as members of the ArchivesSpace Community in any forum, including the ArchivesSpace listservs, Slack channels, wiki, GitHub, remote and in-person forums, webinars and meetings, and private correspondence related to ArchivesSpace. ArchivesSpace is an inclusive, friendly and safe community, committed to openness and transparency in all interactions and activities.

Community Norms and Expectations

We strive to be an intentionally helpful, professional, positive and respectful community that recognizes and celebrates the important mission of archives, libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions to bring evidence of human achievement to the world. This mission is best met when we uplift the diversity of people, cultures and backgrounds.

We aim to provide an inclusive, anti-oppressive environment where all are treated respectfully regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, age, ability, belief system, physical appearance, politics, educational attainment or technical fluency.

We do this through the following behaviors:

  • Having an open and helpful approach to knowledge building.
    • Not everyone knows everything, but together we know a lot.
    • Do not assume where a person is starting from — they may already know a lot about this topic, or they may need help starting from the beginning.
  • Taking the words and lived experiences of others seriously.
    • We recognize that sharing can be uncomfortable or intimidating at times. We show that we value each other’s contributions by not minimizing them.
  • Being considerate.
    • We are all in this together. As an open, community-driven initiative, our community includes archivists, librarians, software developers, project managers, administrators, and many other stakeholders from multiple sectors across the globe. We value the diverse perspectives and expertise of all and strive to keep all in mind when making decisions.
  • Being respectful.
    • Everyone can make a valuable contribution to ArchivesSpace, and all contributions are welcome. Community members are expected to help create safe, respectful environments where thoughtful discussion and problem-solving can take place. If disagreements arise, we proceed in a polite and professional manner, identifying shared goals and common ground for moving forward. When frustrated, we step back and look for good intentions, not reasons to be more frustrated.
  • Being inclusive.
    • As an international community, we are sensitive to many different social and cultural norms around language and behavior, and we strive to conduct ourselves, online and in person, in ways that are unlikely to cause offense.
  • Being collaborative.
    • Collaboration is vital to ArchivesSpace. We work with our own institutional teams, with other teams in the community, and with collaborators outside of our community on related projects.
    • We collaborate to reduce redundancy, to share knowledge, to improve our products, and to perfect our processes.
    • We strive to do our work as transparently as possible and we welcome new collaborators with enthusiasm.
    • We also follow community guidelines for how to collaborate, working with community and technical groups, and including workflows and documented practices for contributing.
    • We say thank you and let people know when they have done good work. When someone makes a contribution, helps us with a problem, or otherwise goes out of their way to make our work easier, we thank them individually and provide opportunities for recognition and thanks.
  • Being respectful of each other’s time.
    • Much of the work done in this community is by volunteers. The energy of community members is a great resource, but not an infinite one.
  • When we disagree, consulting others and exploring perspectives through discussion.
    • Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time.
    • We discuss ideas from a standpoint of mutual respect and reasoned argument. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively and with the help of the community and community processes.
  • Calling attention to, and helping resolve potential problems.
    • Community members should feel empowered to be Active Bystanders to call out bad behavior and step in to help resolve issues. Issues that require escalation can be reported using the processes below.
  • Apologizing for mistakes.
    • Should we catch ourselves behaving disrespectfully, or be confronted as such, we own up to our words and actions, and apologize accordingly. No one is perfect, and even well-intentioned people make mistakes. What matters is how we handle mistakes, and that we center the experience of the person we have harmed.


Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens or demeans another person or group, or produces an unsafe environment. Harassment can occur in person or online.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Offensive verbal comments, insults, jokes, or non-verbal expressions related to physical or intellectual ability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religious or political beliefs.
  • Discriminatory images in public spaces, including but not limited to sexually explicit or violent material.
  • Deliberate intimidation, violent threats or language directed against another person
  • Stalking, or unwanted following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other communication
  • Inappropriate or unwanted physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention
  • Posting (or threatening to post) other people’s personally identifying information
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

While harassment may sometimes look different to different people or in different situations, in general, if someone asks you to stop doing something, then stop.

Repeated violations may result in loss of access to ArchivesSpace resources and events, and/or loss of access to ArchivesSpace communication channels. Repeat offenders may be asked to stop participating in the community or directed to filter their participation through another member of their institution (if applicable).

Addressing Harm

We believe peer to peer discussions, feedback, and corrections can help build a stronger, safer, and more welcoming community. While we understand not everyone may feel comfortable doing so, if you see someone behaving disrespectfully, you are encouraged to respectfully discourage them from such behavior. You are not required to engage with someone behaving disrespectfully and may notify the ArchivesSpace Program Team directly at any time if you see someone violating the code of conduct. However, we encourage others in the community who wish to help keep the community respectful and welcome your input in doing so.

If you are being harassed or notice that someone else is being harassed, and engaging with the offender is not a good option for you, please contact the ArchivesSpace Program Team immediately. If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.

The ArchivesSpace Program Team can be contacted directly at

At in-person events, ArchivesSpace team members may be identified by their name badges and introductions at the beginning. For locally-hosted events at which members of the ArchivesSpace team might not be present, representatives from the organizing team will be identified.

Reporting Guidelines

  1. Initial incident
    • If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, and you feel comfortable speaking with the offender, please inform the offender that they have affected you negatively. Oftentimes, the offending behavior is unintentional, and the accidental offender and offended will resolve the incident by having that initial discussion. You do not need to complete this step to report the incident.
    • If the offender insists that they did not offend, if the offender is actively harassing you, or if direct engagement is not a good option for you at this time, then you will need a third party to step in.
  2. Escalation and reporting
    • To report a violation, email or find an ArchivesSpace Program Team Member if you are at an in-person ArchivesSpace event.
    • In your report please include:
      – Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
      – Names of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
      -When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
      – Your account of what occurred. If there is a publicly available record (e.g. a mailing list archive or chat) please include a link.
      – Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
      – If you believe this incident is ongoing.
      – Any other information you believe we should have.
  3. Next steps 
    • A member of the ArchivesSpace program team will contact you within 2 business days of your initial contact with next steps.
    • Your report will be shared with the ArchivesSpace Program Manager, Community Engagement Coordinator and the Member Engagement Sub-team of the ArchivesSpace User Advisory Council for review.
    • The ArchivesSpace Program Manager, Community Engagement Coordinator and members of the ArchivesSpace Member Engagement Sub-team will meet to discuss the Code of Conduct violation and determine necessary sanctions. A simple majority of this group must agree on the sanctions before they are enacted.
    • If the incident involves a member of the ArchivesSpace Program Team or Member Engagement Sub-Team, this member will recuse themself from the discussions and decision making process.
    • If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an “official” response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is safe.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expulsion from the ArchivesSpace event, or banning the offender from an ArchivesSpace listserv or Slack.

Specific sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in other sanctions
  • requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of an event or in ArchivesSpace channels
  • early termination of a talk that violates the policy
  • not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy
  • not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give further talks at ArchivesSpace events
  • immediately ending any volunteer responsibilities and privileges the harasser holds
  • requiring that the harasser not volunteer for future ArchivesSpace community roles
  • requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return
  • banning the harasser from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • banning the harasser from any (or all) ArchivesSpace communication channels
  • publishing an account of the harassment

We value everyone’s participation in the ArchivesSpace community, and will all work to keep ArchivesSpace a safe and friendly community for all participants!


The ArchivesSpace Code of Conduct has been modeled on the Code of Conduct policies from Islandora, Samvera, IIIF, Code4Lib, and The ArchivalDataCofC for

Last reviewed January 4, 2020