Archives and Information Science Specialization
(will appear on transcript)
Fall Term of Entry only.
Recordkeeping, from governmental to organizational to personal, is one of the most ancient and essential human and institutional functions. Records are created and maintained for purposes of evidence; accountability; and personal, social and corporate memory. Archives serve a crucial cultural function, providing society with a sense of identity and memory. Records management programs help organizations to be compliant with regulatory agencies, responsible to constituent groups, and effective and efficient in the use of informational resources. Critical to the administration of records is the maintenance of records over long periods of time, traditionally called preservation and now being influenced by discussions concerning digital curation and stewardship.
Our Archives and Information Science program is one of the leading programs of its kind in the United States. You can earn your MLIS degree here, gaining an in-depth knowledge of:
- records and recordkeeping systems;
- digital records management;
- archival appraisal and access;
- the history and evolution of recordkeeping systems;
- digital preservation, curation, and stewardship.
The career opportunities available to those students in this specialization are expanding beyond the traditional archives setting. Many of our graduates work in government agencies, institutions of higher education, professional organizations, corporations, and not-for-profits. For a selected list of employers of our graduates, please click here.
Our program will give you the skills and knowledge to identify and analyze recordkeeping systems from legal, evidential, historical, and cultural perspectives. Students study in an engaging and intellectually stimulating environment, taking courses in diverse topics including:
- appraisal and records scheduling;
- organization and representation of unique materials;
- reference and access;
- advocacy and public programming;
- legal and ethical issues;
- preservation of library and archive collections;
- digitization, digital preservation, and digital curation;
- research methods for archival research; and
- management of archives, preservation, and records programs.
You may also have the opportunity to work on research projects and publications. This program is designed to provide you with both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills for managing and making decisions concerning records in a variety of traditional and non-traditional settings requiring archival and preservation expertise. As part of your course of study, you can gain critical experience through a for-credit field experience in an archives, library, arts or related organization.
The orientation of our graduate program is in preparing students for leadership and scholarly positions in the archives and information management fields. Applicants must have the equivalent of a year’s experience (this can be student positions in archives and special collections units in their undergraduate schools or volunteer and other experience in historical societies, museum archives, historic sites, and cultural organizations), knowledge of the archives and information management fields as demonstrated in their personal statements, and clear professional goals that can be supported by our academic program.
Students follow a prescribed course of study over a one-year (full-time) or two-year (part-time) program. This is an on-campus program of study, providing ample opportunity for face-to-face interaction with faculty.
The Archives and Information Science specialization is supported by a cadre of full-time regular faculty and adjunct faculty who are leading scholars and practitioners in the field. This program is among the small number of graduate programs in archives featuring more than one regular faculty member dedicated to teaching and research in this area.
Richard J. Cox, Professor, Lead Faculty
Brian Beaton, Assistant Professor
Alison Langmead, Lecturer
Archivist, Photograph Curator, University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
- Society of American Archivists (SAA)
- International Council on Archives
- ARMA (Association of Records Managers and Administrators, Inc.)
- AIIM (Association for Image and Information Management)
- Midwest Archives Conference
- Association of Moving Image Archivists
- Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
- Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
- Archival Education and Research Institutes (AERI)
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC)
For more information about this specialization, please contact our Student Recruitment Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-648-3108.