Thaddeus publishes a blog called I'll get there. It'll be worth the trip. I like looking at the bookshelf that is the background for his blog. I especially like seeing Joseph Bruchac's Hidden Roots there. I think it is one of the most important books around.
Yesterday, Thaddeus posted "E99.P85, Or: The Case of Pocahontas in the Library." Read this excerpt, and then go read his entire post. And, then, bookmark or follow his blog. He is a librarian-in-training, but he's already someone we can all learn from.
Disney’s Pocahontas was assigned a main entry of E99.P85. For those who don’t have LoC call numbers memorized (which I’m assuming is most people), E is the broad heading for American History. Numbers in the range around E90 are specifically American Indian History, and E99 is for Biography of American Indians. The P85 specifies further the person the biography is about.
Pocahontas was being classified as a historically accurate documentary.
I’d like to think this was some sort of mistake. But according to OCLC Classify, there are 1242 holdings of this film classified under this call number in libraries that submit data to OCLC. Pocahontas was deliberately assigned a call number such that it could pose as Native history.
I doubt I need to convince you that this film does not accurately represent the history of the woman who was Matoaka, but just in case, here’s a statement from the Powhatan Renape Nation, as well as information from multiple other sources. What I’m concerned about is the carelessness that librarians have taken in curating information about people.