Ethics and privacy

Offensive content

SAMLA digitizes and provides open access to cultural-historical source material from the collections in the Norwegian Folklore Archives, the Norwegian Ethnological Research and the Ethno-Folkloristic Archive. The three archives contain sources from the 17th century to the present day. This is historical material and retains the characteristics of the times in which they were collected and written down. This means that the documents will sometimes contain, among other things, racist stereotypes, offensive language and prejudiced depictions of historical events. This applies particularly to material dealing with Sami culture, national and other minorities. 

As collecting institutions, we must strike a balance between ensuring access to the historical collections in their entirety, as they were collected, and in respect for the people who sang the songs or told the stories, and for those who collected them. We cannot change or remove content without violating these central principles of historical collections. For historical documentation and research, we must take care of both the provenance and the historical context. At the same time, we would like to emphasize that some of the documents in our collections can be hurtful and difficult to read today.

In some very special cases, it may be appropriate for us to, for example, label individual stories or parts of collections with content warnings. Some sensitive material also has access restrictions to ensure that it is used in an ethically sound manner.

SAMLA has its own ethical guidelines adhering to Norwegian research ethical guidelines and the Personal Data Act, as well as the ongoing academic debate in the field. Above all, we want the audience's feedback. Please contact us if you have questions or comments about our handling of offensive material.

Restricted material

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