The following list provides examples of course syllabi designed to educate students, both undergraduate and graduate, about basic archival theory and practice.  We thank faculty who have provided permission to post their content here. Other links provide course syllabi discovered on the open web.

Syllabi are rarely static items, with changes during the teaching semester as well as modifications made in subsequent semesters to meet changing pedagogical and program contexts. Researchers are encouraged to seek updated versions from individual faculty.

While it is difficult to keep such a list current and comprehensive, we welcome updated versions of course descriptions and suggestions for additional content.


Carlson, Sharon.”HIST 4060 Archival Administration.” History Department, Western Michigan University, Winter 2011.

  • Syllabus: HIST 4060 (.DOC)
  • Theory, techniques, and practice in the development and administration of archives and archival materials.

Conway, Paul. “SI 410: Ethics and Information Technology.” School of Information, University of Michigan. Fall 2010.

  • Syllabus: SI 410
  • “Ethics and Information Technology focuses on the ethical dilemmas that exist where human beings, information objects, and social computing technologies interact. The course explores emerging ethical models from historical and cross-cultural perspectives and then applies these models to a variety of new and emerging technologies that are inherently social in their construction and use. Initial examples of issues that the course covers in discrete modules include: the integrity of digital content in a networked world; identity and avatars; and interpersonal engagement through online games and virtual environments. Students explore the technological underpinnings of associated technology systems, experiment with individual and group interaction with technologies, and examine the mechanics of ethical and unethical behaviors” (Conway, SI 410).

Dong, Lorrie. “INF 304D: Introduction to Information Studies.” School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin. Spring 2012.

  • Syllabus: INF 304D (.PDF)
  • An introductory blended learning course to the field of information studies.  Students come from diverse backgrounds and majors; some are minoring in IS, while others enroll to fulfill the University of Texas writing requirement.  The course is writing-intensive, and focuses on a different “module” each week that covers a specific aspect of IS, e.g., archives, preservation, information architecture, security.

Luehrsen, Virginia. “INF 327E: Preservation & Representation of Cultural Heritage Information.” School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin. Spring 2012.

Nordberg, Erik. “SS3990: Management and Use of Archival Information.” Social Sciences Department, Michigan Technological University. Spring 2012.

  • Syllabus: SS3990 (.PDF)
  • A lecture and  seminar-based course, providing an overview of archival management practices with elements of research methodology and critical discussion of primary sources. In addition to readings and discussion, several practical exercises and assignments provide opportunities for hands-on experience. Guest lecturers and field visits to a number of archives and records centers provide broad perspective on the archival profession.

Robyns, Marcus. “AIS 330: Management and Use of Archival Information.” Academic Information Services, Northern Michigan University. Winter 2006 and Winter 2011.

  • Syllabus: AIS 330 2011 (.DOCX)
  • Effective management and use of archival information by students in the social sciences requires an understanding of the purposes, functions, and activities that lead to the creation and maintenance of recorded information. This course reviews the nature of information, records, historical documentation, archival administration and practice, and the role of archives in modern society. Students will learn and apply in practical exercises the skills necessary to understand and implement archival functions and research methods.


Bastian, Jeannette. “Introduction to Archival Methods and Services.” Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College. Fall 2011.

  • Syllabus: Simmons438 (.DOC)
  • “The purpose of this course is to introduce, examine and understand core components, concepts and methods of the archives, records and manuscripts profession.  The course seeks to explore basic theoretical issues and archival principles as well as provide insight into their practical application. It attempts to strike a balance between theory and practice so that students will learn how to perform archival functions as well as understand the principles underlying these functions.  Students will gain an overall understanding of the archival profession in the United States and be introduced to the many technologies currently impacting the profession.  Class discussion will focus on the assigned readings, the changing nature of recordkeeping, and the broader influence of records on societal and cultural memory” (Bastian, Simmons438).

Conway, Paul. “Understanding Records and Archives: Principles and Practices.” School of Information, University of Michigan. Winter 2009.
SPECIAL NOTE: Conway will be teaching SI 580 in Fall 2012 and expects to make changes. David Wallace at Michigan has also taught this course more recently than 2009.

  • Syllabus: SI 580 (Web)
  • “This course is an introduction to principles, practices, and current debates in the field of archives and records administration. It is designed with two types of graduate students in mind. The course is a combination of lecture, discussion, demonstrations, and problem solving. It includes a site visit to a local archival institution and requires independent research and writing. It is an intensive introduction. Critical reading of course materials will be essential to stimulate active participation in class discussions.”

Fleckner, John A. “GWU 297: Collections Management: Archival Practices.” Museum Studies, George Washington University. Spring 2009.
SPECIAL NOTE: Fleckner currently teaches this class as MSTD 6601 – Archival Practices at the Smithsonian.

Jimerson, Rand. “History 525: History and Principles of Archives and Records Management.” History Department, Western Washington University. Fall 2011.

  • Syllabus: History 525 (.PDF)
  • “This course is designed as an introduction to major concepts, principles, functions, and operations in the field of archives and records management. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with basic principles and issues in archives and records management, understand the major functions performed by archivists and records managers, and begin to think and reason from the perspective of the professional archivist and records manager” (Jimerson, History 525).

Lawrimore, Erin. “LIBR 256: Archives and Manuscripts.” School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University. Spring 2012.

  • Syllabus: LIBR 256 (Web)
  • “An introduction to the theory and practice of managing archival documents, such as personal papers, institutional records, photographs, electronic records, and other unpublished material. Topics covered include manuscript and records acquisition and appraisal, arrangement and description, conservation and preservation, reference and access. In addition to basic theory and practice, students will be introduced to the variety of types of archival institutions, both in the United States and abroad” (Lawrimore, LIBR 256).

Trace, Ciaran. “389R: Introduction to Archival Enterprise.” School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin. Fall 2011 and spring 2012.

  • “An introduction to the principles and practice of appraisal, acquisition, preservation, reference service, and administration of institutional and collected archives (record groups) and of archival repositories” (iSchool Course Description).

Trace, Ciaran. “389R: Introduction to Archival Enterprise.” School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin. Spring 2012.

  • “Introduction to archival enterprise. Emphasis on administrative and professional issues including organizing the work of a repository, management issues, marketing, space, law, and ethics” (iSchool Course Description).

Turrini, Joseph. “LIS 7710 and HIS 780 Archival Administration.” School of Library and Information Science, Wayne State University. Fall 2011.

  • Syllabus: WSU 7710 (.DOC)
  • “This course provides a broad introduction to archival administration and the various functions of archival institutions. This includes the development of archival institutions in the western world, terminology, differences between library and archival techniques, the arrangement and description of archival materials, security, acquisitions, outreach, reference, and appraisal” (Turrini, LIS 7710).

Wosh, Peter. “G57.1010: Introduction to Archives I.” Department of History, New York University. Fall 2010.

  • Syllabus: G57.1010 (.PDF)
  • The course provides a basic introductory overview of archival administration, historical documentation, and the management of historical resources. The theoretical component of the course is supplemented with a variety of hands-on exercises designed to illustrate the relationship between theory and practice.

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