Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

Developing and Implementing a Master of Archival Studies Program: A Collaborative Effort of a State University, a State Archives, and the National Archives and Records Administration

Academic journal article Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

Developing and Implementing a Master of Archival Studies Program: A Collaborative Effort of a State University, a State Archives, and the National Archives and Records Administration

Article excerpt

Born-digital materials, combined with the large amount of analog information that is being digitized and stored electronically, require digital information professionals to be versed in archival as well as information technology skills. To help fill the growing demand for digital archival skills and knowledge, Clayton State University, in a collaborative venture with the Georgia Archives and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Southeast Region, created a Master of Archival Studies program. Developed over a four-year period, the program integrates technology skills and knowledge into every course in the curriculum. The curriculum also incorporates service-based learning through practicums/internships, requiring students to apply the archival and technological knowledge gained from the classroom to real-world situations. This paper describes the process undertaken by the three organizations to identify and define the educational goals of the program. Details are provided on how the program and curriculum were developed and implemented such that every course joined the traditional theories and practices of archival studies with the information technology skills needed in today's digital world. This account will be useful for institutions and faculty who are developing or revising programs and curricula integrating technology with traditional theories and practices.

Keywords: archives education, experiential learning, archives employment, technology skills, service-learning, case study

The arrival of the digital age has created a strong and immediate need for digital archivists/digital asset managers/digital preservation officers who have a particularly broad skill set. The modern day digital archivist must have a broad range of technological skills coupled with a comprehensive system for the preservation of both born-digital information and analog information which has been or needs to be digitized. Unfortunately, archival education has not kept pace with the world's adaptation to the digital age.

Archival education in the United States began after the 1 934 founding of the National Archives and the 1936 formation of the Society of American Archivists. However, Archival Studies did not become its own area of education and research in the United States until the 1 990s (White & GiIliland, 2010). Prior to that, archivists came from history backgrounds and primarily received on-the-job training. Beginning in the 1990s, the archival profession transitioned from relying on on-the-job training to requiring a master's degree, usually in Library and Information Science (LIS), for entry into and mobility within the field (Bastian & Yankel, 2005). However, even though graduates with LIS master's degrees were preferred over those with master's degrees in history, both types of programs were very traditional in terms of educational structure and content (Yankel, 2000). A recent study by White and Gilliland (20 1 0, p. 232) found archival education focused "too narrowly on the traditional paradigmatic aspects of archival science (i.e. the professional canon of theory and practice)"

In response to the growing demand for digital archival skills and knowledge and the increasingly sophisticated technological skills required of digital archivists, Clayton State University collaborated with the Georgia Archives (GA) and the National Archives and Records Administration Southeast Region (NARA/SE) to create a Master of Archival Studies program which incorporates traditional archival science and education with the sophisticated digital technology skills needed by the modern day archivist. The curriculum also integrates service-learning - a method of teaching, learning, and reflecting that combines classroom education with community service so that students can maximize the educational experience and graduate with the archival and technological skills needed in the modern day archival profession. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.