GSLIS does not maintain a full archives concentration. As such, it can seem difficult deciding what courses to take to support a career in archives. The SAA student chapter has therefore developed this unofficial course guide for UIUC GSLIS students interested in archives (of all types).

This guide serves as an entry-point to considering how you can direct your career at GSLIS towards a career in archives. This guide consists of 1) core classes, followed by 2) course modules built around different types of archival settings and themes, including digital archives, manuscript repositories/special collections, preservation issues and the legal issues archivists must be cognizant of to fulfill their duties.

This guide was prepared by The Society of American Archivists, UIUC Student Chapter, under the direction of Noah Lenstra. The guide does not represent the opinions of the national Society of American Archivists, who have created their own Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies.

In addition to formal courses, seek to carry out a practicum or internship in your area of interest. Archivists often still see the profession as built on an apprenticeship model so gaining hands-on experience is essential for getting a job. Finally, pay attention to opportunities disseminated by the Data Curation Education Program, the Midwest Rare Books & Manuscripts Program and the SAA student chapter to stay abreast of opportunities for extracurricular professional development.

Fundamental courses:

REQUIRED: LIS501 Info Org and Access [Information Organization and Access] – available on-campus and LEEP (4 hours)

REQUIRED: LIS502 Libraries Info and Society [Libraries, Information and Society] – available on-campus and LEEP (2-4 hours)

LIS581A: Adm and Use of Archival Materials [Administration and Use of Archival Materials] – available on-campus and LEEP in the Fall semester (4 hours)

LIS590AA: Archival Arrang and Descrip [Arrangement and Description for Archives and Museums] – available on-campus ONLY summers and occasional spring semesters (2 hours)

Total: 12-14 hours

Other courses highly recommended for all tracks:

LIS590RE: Doing Soc Sci Research in LIS (4 hours). Recommended for research and evaluation.

LIS458: Instruction and Assistance Sys [Instruction and Assistance Systems]. Recommended for being able to educate and communicate clearly and efficiently.

Preservation courses:

LIS582: Preserving Info Resources [Preserving Information Resources] – available on-campus and LEEP in fall and spring semesters (4 hours). Note: Focuses on preservation administration in a holistic sense

LIS590: Preserv & Conserv Colls Care [Preservation and Conservation for Collections Care] on-campus ONLY (4 hours). Note: Focuses on preservation/conservation in a more hands-on sense

LIS590PD: Digital Preservation – LEEP ONLY (4 hours)

LIS590AV: AV Mat’ls in Libs & Archives [Audiovisual Materials in Libraries and Archives] – available summer and spring semesters LEEP (4 hours)

Total: 4-16 hours (depending on student interest)

Legal/policy/copyright issues:

LIS590IP: Information Policy – available on-campus and LEEP (4 hours)

LIS590LI: Legal Issues in LIS [Legal Issues in Library and Other Information Settings] (2-4 hours)

LIS505: Adm Mgt of Libs Info Centers [Administration & Management of Libraries and Information Centers] available on-campus and LEEP irregularly (4 hours)

LIS549: Economics of Info [Economics of Information] – available on-campus and LEEP irregularly (4 hours)

Total: 4-16 hours (depending on student interest)

Electronic records management/archives:

LIS452: Foundations Info Proc in LIS [Foundations of Information Processing in Lib & Info Science] (2 or 4 hours)

LIS590DC: Foundations of Data Curation (4 hours)

LIS590MD: Metadata in Theory & Practice (4 hours)

LIS590DP: Document Processing (4 hours)/ LIS590 DMDocument Modeling (4 hours)

LIS590EP: Electr Pub: Techs & Practices [Electronic Publishing: Technologies and Practices] (4 hours)

LIS590DI: Digital Libs Research & Pract [Digital Libraries: Research and Practice] (4 hours)

LIS490MU: Museum Informatics (4 hours)

LIS590ER: Electronic Records Management (4 hours) – NOT OFFERED REGULARLY

LIS590RM: Records Management (4 hours) – NOT OFFERED REGULARLY

Total: Up to 20 hours

Special Collections:

(Many of these courses are offered through intensive summer on-site classes. If you’re interested in this track, consider completing the Special Collections certificate.)

LIS590MH: Spec Colls Museums & Hist Set [Special Collections in Museums and Historical Settings] – available summer (2 hours)

LIS590RB: Rare Book and Spec Colls [Rare Books and Special Collections Librarianship] – available regularly (2 hours) REQUIRED FOR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS concentration

LIS590: Medieval Codicology (4 hours)

LIS490MU: Museum Informatics (4 hours)

LIS590PA: Personal Archiving (4 hours)

Total: Up to 16 hours

Courses for particular types of repositories:

FOR GOVERNMENT ARCHIVES: LIS525LE: Government Information (4 hours)

FOR COMMUNITY ARCHIVES: LIS490CE: Community Engagement (4 hours) – can focus course on archives site

FOR UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES: LIS590HEL: Higher Educ and Info Prof’ls [Higher Education and Information Professionals] (4 hours)

FOR RELIGIOUS ARCHIVES: LIS590TL: Theological Librarianship (2 -4 hours)

FOR USER SERVICES: LIS504 Reference and Info Services [Reference and Information Services] (4 hours)

Total: Variable, dependent on student interest

WISE Courses:

WISE courses are classes from other LIS programs across the world which GSLIS students can enroll in based on availability. Check as soon as courses are announced, because these fill up fast! Look especially at UPittsburgh and UC – San Jose for archives related courses).

Past offerings have included:

Museum Archives

Archives and Web 2.0

Genealogy Seminar

Records Management

Oral History

Total: Variable

Finally, as a GSLIS student you can take up to 12 hours outside of GSLIS.

These classes are ONLY available on-campus, but offer many opportunities for gaining additional skills.

HIST 502D: Prob in Comparative History  (Hoddeson) Topic:  Oral History as a Research Tool (4 hours)


ARTH 560: Collections, Museums & Patrons (4 hours)

MUSE 500: Core Prob Museum Theory & Prac (4 hours)

MUSE 589: Special Topics Museum Studies (4 hours)

UP 420: Planning for Historic Preservation (4 hours)

Total: Variable


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