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Statement on Potentially Harmful Content

Some contents within the Massillon Museum’s collection contain historical language and material some may consider offensive, including language used in reference to racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Items included in this exhibition—their content and descriptions—reflect the time period during which they were created and the view of their creator.

The Massillon Museum strives to be a cultural hub where art and history come together. While some objects may be difficult to view, it is our mission to preserve and make available these historical records. As a result, some of the materials presented in this exhibition may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. The artifacts maintain their original form to ensure attitudes and viewpoints are not erased from the historical record. We are committed to working with the community, staff, and peer institutions to assess and update collection descriptions that are harmful, and to establish standards and policies to prevent future harmful language in staff-generated descriptions.

You can help us by reporting potentially harmful language that you see in this exhibition, as well as within our online collection. Email us at MHM at and include:

  • The title of the artifact.

  • The Massillon Museum number (ex: 91.7.3936).

  • A quote of the specific language you feel is harmful.

  • A suggested alternative description if you have one.


The Museum staff will review these reports and determine whether or not to change or redact parts of the descriptions, taking into consideration the potential harm along with input from affected communities and thought given to accurate preservation of the historical record, professional best practices, and allocation of staff resources.

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