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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LIS 593 - Archives Administration

LIS 593 - Archives Administration

 Course Outline


Calendar Description:
Theories, practices, standards and methods used in the management of modern archives, with an historical overview and an emphasis on contemporary theory and practice.
Upon completion of the course, a student should be familiar with standardized principles and methods used in the professional management of archival records and archival institutions. A student should have knowledge of archival terminology, the general history of archival practice, archival law and legislation, including current practice regarding freedom of information and privacy, copyright in archives, ethics in archives, and the similarities and differences between archives and libraries. A student should have an understanding of the fundamental principles involved in the acquisition and appraisal of archival records, intellectual and physical control of such records (including special media archives), reference services and research in archives, the preventative conservation of records, current thought about the preservation of digital records and the use of new technologies in archives, various avenues of public outreach and awareness raising, and revenue generation options to support the preservation of archival records.
  • Archives: An Introduction
  • Introduction to Fundamental Concepts in Archival Science
  • The Archivist and the Legislative Context
  • Archival Appraisal & Acquisition
  • Archival Arrangement & Description
  • Preservation & Conservation
  • Access or Archival Reference
  • Archival Outreach
  • Digital Archives
  • Facility Tours

  • Lectures (one to two per class) Guest lecturers with special expertise will participate 
  • Textbook: Archives: Principles and Practices by Laura A. Millar. Chapters will correspond to lectures and students are expected to be familiar with the issues relevant to each chapter / lecture;  student interaction during classroom discussion is expected  
  • Field trips (e.g., Provincial Archives of Alberta, City of Edmonton Archives, Edmonton Public Schools Archives) 
Course Relationships:
LIS 501 is a pre-requisite to LIS 593. LIS 593 is related to LIS 594, Records Management, which deals with the management of records in their active stage.

Assignments and Evaluation N/A

  • Students will be expected to complete an in-class audiovisual media "mystery quiz" assignment. 10% 
  • Students will be expected to complete an in-class preservation planning assignment. 10%  
  • Students will be expected to complete a sample fonds processing assignment. 30% 
  • Students will be expected to complete a research paper of about 15 pages on a topic related to the Past, Present & Future of 1 Area of Archival Operation (e.g., the History of Archives; fundamental concepts and principles of archives; archival legislation; archival appraisal or arrangement and description of archives; references services in archives; outreach and archives (including revenue generation); the preservation of archives (textual and audiovisual media); electronic records or archives and digital content). 40% 
  • Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions. 10%

Tentative Timetable

January: Archives

  • An Introduction Introductions & housekeeping 
  • History of archives 
  • Managing an archival institution


January:  Introduction to Fundamental Concepts in Archival Science 

  • What are archives?
  • The principles of provenance, original order and respect des fonds
  • The concept of the fonds in archives



January: The Archivist and the Legislative Context 

  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
  • Personal Information Protection Act  
  • Government of Alberta, Records Management Regulation
  • Association of Canadian Archivists, Code of Ethics



January: Archival Appraisal & Acquisition

  • Appraising and acquiring archives 
  • Appraisal for acquisition and selection 
  • Sampling; other appraisal considerations 
  • Acquiring archives Monetary appraisal 
  • Accessioning archives 
  • Deaccessioning


February: Archival Arrangement & Description, Part 1

  • Arranging and describing archives
  • Levels of arrangement 
  • The practicalities of arrangement
  • Describing archives 
  • Presenting content 
  • Providing access to descriptive information
  • Putting the description together
  • Establishing priorities 
  • Introduction to the Rules for Archival Description



February: Archival Arrangement & Description, Part 2

  • The Rules for Archival Description 
  • Assignment: Sample fonds processing exercise; Due Date: March 

February: Reading Week:

February: Preservation & Conservation, Part 1 

  • Protecting archives
  • What is preservation?
  • Understanding and responding to archival hazards
  • Developing a preservation plan
  • Storing media materials 
  • Preservation and conservation of paper records
  • Emergency Preparedness Planning
  • In-Class Assignment: Preservation planning

March: Preservation & Conservation, Part 2

  • Preservation of audiovisual records 
  • Nuts and bolts: digital preservation of records at the worksite level    
  • Digitizing archives for preservation
  • In-Class Assignment: Mystery quiz 
  • Due Date: Sample fonds processing exercise 

March : Access or Archival Reference

  • Making archives available
  • Equal access
  • The reference environment
  • Documenting reference services

March: Archival Outreach

  • Public programming in archives
  • Exhibit planning 
  • Sales and services
  • Cost recovery and profit making
  • Social Media: new ways of providing access

March: Facility Tours

  • City of Edmonton Archives 
  • Edmonton Public Schools Archives

April: Digital Archives & Provincial Archives tour[1]

  • The Provincial Archives “Digital Continuity” project 
  • The challenge of digital archives 
  • Electronic records issues 
  • Developing electronic records and archives policies 
  • The importance of standards 
  • The process of managing electronic archives 
  • The role of a digital depository


  • Assignment Due: Term Paper

Textbook: Laura Millar. Archives: Principles and Practices, New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers Inc., 2010

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