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School of Library and Information Science

Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections- Course Information

 

Enrolled students must complete 18 credit hours of work, including the five required courses (see below), one required elective, and the Certificate Capstone Paper.

Required Courses*:

  • LIS 646: Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • LIS 647: Introduction to Archival Organization (3 credits)
  • LIS 648: Archival Practicum (3 credits)
  • LIS 645: Digital Preservation (3 credits)
  • LIS 652: Metadata for Digital Collections (3 credits) 

Electives (choose one):

  • LIS 506: Cataloging Multimedia Objects (3 credits)
  • LIS 533: History of the Book (3 credits)
  • LIS 580: British Studies (3 credits)
  • LIS 631: History of Libraries and Librarianship (3 credits)
  • LIS 634: History of Children's Literature (3 credits)
  • LIS 692: Special Problems (on an approved archival topic) (3 credits)

* Non-LIS graduate students are required to take LIS 505: Cataloging and Classification as a prerequisite.

Except for the practicum, all required coursework is completed online. For full course descriptions, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

 

Certificate Capstone Paper

Towards the end of the program, students must complete a 2500- to 4500-word research paper on an approved topic related to archives or special collections. Instructions for the paper are available here (PDF).

British Studies (LIS 580 and LIS 587)

Archival certificate students participating in the British Studies Program may use LIS 580 as their archival elective and the major research paper they complete for LIS 587 as their capstone archival paper. More information about the British Studies Program is available here.

Practicum Placements (LIS 648)

Students are required to locate, arrange, and complete a suitable practicum placement in their area. A description of the practicum course (LIS 648) as well as a copy of the archival practicum handbook (which includes all required forms) are available below.

 

Full Course Descriptions

Course descriptions and availability are subject to change. Please refer the graduate course rotation schedule on our Graduate Programs page for the most current information. Questions about a specific course, including its content, assignments, or prerequisites, should be directed to the instructor listed as the contact.

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LIS 506 – Cataloging Multimedia Objects

3 hours. The course provides a better understanding of organizing and cataloging resources of various formats in the electronic era. The emphasis is given to resources with special formats including audiovisual resources, manuscripts, cartographic materials, serials, and electronic resources. Students will have opportunities to theorize best practices and perform cataloging skills on unique resources existing in libraries, museums, and archives. Assignments include exercises, discussions, metadata analyses, and research reports.

Availability: Spring

Prerequisites: LIS 505

Contact: Dr. Cindy Yu, xinyu.yuFREEMississippi

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LIS 533 – History of the Book

3 hours. The course introduces students to general book history as well as bibliography and the nature of rare book collections. Beginning with an overview of the book in ancient times, the course places an increasing emphasis on the development of books in western culture, from the early modern period to present with special focus on writing and authorship, the print trade, literacy and communities of readers, and book manufacturing and design. The course also covers: the parts and construction of early and modern books; identifying and distinguishing editions, printings, states, and points of issue; the proper storage and handling of rare books and manuscripts; information resources for rare book curators and collectors; and the development of the antiquarian book trade. Students complete a variety of assignments, including a bibliographic study of a modern first edition.

Availability: Fall

Prerequisites: none

Contact: Dr. Matthew Griffis, matthew.griffisFREEMississippi

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LIS 580 & 587 – British Studies 

6 hours. LIS 580 – British Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections: Comparative or historical studies of library and information institutions, collections, models of service, or professional practice in the United Kingdom. LIS 587 – Research: To provide the opportunity for in-depth research projects using the resources of metropolitan London and/or the United Kingdom. Please see the course web site or contact the instructor listed below for more information. 

Availability: Summer

Prerequisites: successful application to the British Studies Program

Contact: Dr. Teresa Welsh, teresa.welshFREEMississippi

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LIS 631 – History Libraries and Librarianship

3 hours. This course examines the history and development of public, academic, and school libraries from ancient times to the present, with an emphasis on changing social, economic, cultural, and technological landscapes. It also explores the history and development of librarianship as a profession, from ancient times to its professionalization in the late 19th century and onward to its place in the Information Age. The course will demonstrate the role of history and its interpretation in understanding modern practices, ethics, and values. Assignments are designed so that students with varied backgrounds may select areas of specialization that reflect their specific professional goals and interests.

Availability: TBA

Prerequisites: none

Contact: Dr. Matthew Griffis, matthew.griffisFREEMississippi

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LIS 634 – History of Children’s Literature

3 hours. Traces the development of children's literature in England and the United States to the early 20th century. Please contact the instructor listed below for more information

Availability: TBA

Prerequisites: none

Contact: Dr. Teresa Welsh, teresa.welshFREEMississippi

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LIS 645 – Digital Preservation

3 hours. This course offers a comprehensive overview of digital collections from the conceptual understandings to critical issues of planning, developing, and managing digital collections at libraries, museums, and archives. Emphasis is placed on managing, creating, and preserving digital objects for long-term access. Students will learn the principles and practices of how to assess digital preservation needs and apply skills in curating data, digitization, metadata creation, and file format conversion. Topics examined include metadata, digital humanities, open access, digital librarianship, information security, and file formats sustainability. Students complete a variety of exercises and assignments, including building a digital collection and developing a grant proposal. 

Availability: Fall

Prerequisites: all core MLIS courses

Contact: Dr. Cindy Yu, xinyu.yuFREEMississippi

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LIS 646 – Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice

3 hours. This introductory course provides a broad introduction to the theory and practice of archival work, from the history of the profession and the types and varieties of archival repositories to the role and value of archives, archivists, and special collections curators in the information age. The course covers the basics of the archival cycle, from appraisal, selection, and accessioning to the arrangement, description, and preservation of records and manuscripts. The course also introduces students to digitization practices and standards, the management of archives, reference services and user needs, access and copyright, the importance of outreach, and disaster planning. Students must visit an archive in their local region in order to complete the final course project.

Availability: Fall

Prerequisites: none

Contact: Dr. Matthew Griffis, matthew.griffisFREEMississippi

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LIS 647 – Introduction to Archival Organization

3 hours. This introductory course provides a theoretical and practical introduction to the arrangement and description of archival materials and collections, from the initial processing of new acquisitions to the completion of print and online finding aids. The course applies current theories and practices for solving the most common challenges and problems encountered by today’s archival professionals. Issues of intellectual and physical control are addressed as they apply to access and user needs. Students receive hands-on experience arranging and describing a collection of their choice for the final project.

Availability: Spring

Prerequisites: none

Contact: Dr. Matthew Griffis, matthew.griffisFREEMississippi

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LIS 648 – Archival Practicum

2, 3, or 4 hours (minimum 3 hours required for certificate students). Students gain practical, hands-on experience at an archival or special collections repository through the application of theories, ethics, principles, and skills learned in archives courses. Students are responsible for locating and negotiating an acceptable practicum opportunity within their local region before beginning the practicum. Students are expected to maintain a reflective journal throughout their placement and make a final presentation based on their experience. Students, on-site supervisors, and faculty supervisors must follow the guidelines set forth in the Archival Practicum Handbook.

Availability: any term

Prerequisites: LIS 646 or LIS 647 or permission from the advisor

Contact: Dr. Matthew Griffis, matthew.griffisFREEMississippi

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LIS 652 – Metadata for Digital Collections

3 hours. This course provides an overview of metadata as it applies to resources at libraries, archives, and museums in the digital environment. Principles and practices are focused on best practices, interoperability, and quality control of metadata. Students examine, analyze, and evaluate key metadata standards (e.g. Dublin Core, EAD, VRA) relevant to their communities and practice hands-on skills in selecting, capturing, describing, preserving, and providing access to digitized and born-digital objects with metadata. In order to examine the role of metadata in the digital environment, students participate in key activities including metadata creation and ingesting, review of metadata schemas, and developing a metadata implementation proposal.

Availability: Spring

Prerequisites: LIS 505 or prior consent of the instructor

Contact: Dr. Cindy Yu, xinyu.yuFREEMississippi

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LIS 692 – Special Problems (on an approved archival topic)

3 hours. An independent study course of genealogy research or a special problem study to be approved by the director. Please contact the instructor listed below for more information.

Availability: any term

Prerequisites: none

Contact: Dr. Teresa Welsh, teresa.welshFREEMississippi

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