Cultural Sensitivity in Our Archives

Getty Images takes its responsibility as a world leader in visual content seriously, and our digital libraries are both a cultural and commercial resource supported by an ongoing program of analogue conservation and preservation, as well as digital metadata enrichment.

As the world’s largest privately held visual archive, we own and represent material from thousands of unique sources, and from different cultures and time periods, that are accessible as part of the historic record.

Records held in archives may contain imagery and language that are considered inappropriate today, but are reflective of their time, and we attempt to balance preservation of this history with sensitivity to its presentation. The original descriptions, many of which were written decades ago, can provide important context, but can also demonstrate biases and prejudices.

Today, we strive to write accurate and respectful captions, and we work with our partners and contributors to assess and update inappropriate or harmful content. We also work to correct factual inaccuracies in a timely manner as well as to continuously add more imagery of subjects traditionally underrepresented in the visual narrative of history.