MARA 256-01
21st Century Archival Methods
Summer 2010 Greensheet

Lori Lindberg

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Course Requirements
Textbooks and Readings
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Students will be enrolled in the ANGEL course site by the instructor on June 4th, 2010.

Course Description

Course Catalog
Archival science and archival methods as presently practiced in archival repositories. Types of archival repositories. Influence of other disciplines on archives and vice versa. Focus on technological changes and their effects on traditional archival records, systems, methodologies.

Greensheet Description
This course is designed as an introduction to the basic theories, methodologies, significant challenges and opportunities relating to the management of records, particularly archival records, the practical administration of archives, and the institutions, programs, and associations that support this work. This course will provide a basic understanding of archives and archival work which will enable students to better understand the role of archives in the world of information management and enable them to perceive differences and similarities between archivists, records managers, manuscript curators, rare book librarians, librarians, and other information professionals.

The course will address the following key questions:

  • What are archives and why are they important?
  • What principles and concepts guide the work of archivists?
  • What are the basic components of an archival program?
  • How are archival records appraised, arranged and described, and made available for use?
  • What are the basic elements of a records management program and how does that impact archives?
  • What has been the impact of new information technologies on archival theory and practice?
  • What is the future of the archival profession?

Course Objectives

This course will:

  • introduce students to the basic theoretical principles and methodologies and the various practices involved in administering archives and records management programs.
  • provide a basic understanding of archival work so that students can make an informed decision about pursuing a professional career in archives.
  • provide a basic understanding of the importance of records in the information age and of records management as an important tool and function in an archival program.
  • provide a basic understanding of how new information technologies are transforming archival theory and practice and how archivists are attempting to meet this challenge.
  • introduce students to the classic writings in the archives and records management professions.
  • encourage students to begin thinking critically about strategies for managing the archival record in the modern information age.
  • prepare students for internships in an archival repository and prepare them for more advanced classes or workshops in archival administration or records management.

MARA 256 supports the following MARA Core Competencies:

  • Articulate the ethics, values, and foundational principles of archives and records management professionals and appreciate the important role record keepers play in social memory and organizational accountability
  • Recognize the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of records, recordkeeping, and records use
  • Understand the evolution of information recordkeeping systems in response to technological change
  • Have expertise in the basic concepts and principles used to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to records of current and enduring value

Course Requirements

Course Meetings
There will be mandatory recorded Elluminate sessions from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. PST on the following dates:

6/7, 6/10, 6/14, 6/21, 6/24, 6/28, 7/1, 7/5, 7/8, 7/12, 7/22, 7/26, 7/29, 8/2, 8/5 (All from 5-7:30pm PST)

This schedule is subject to change as conditions warrant.

Primary Requirements
Course requirements include:

  • adequate preparation to discuss the required reading assignments and fully participate in class discussions and group exercises;
  • composition of two short papers (5-6 pp.) in response to questions posed by the instructor, due on 6/28 and 7/29 respectively; see your ANGEL Course Lessons for these questions.
  • completion of a comprehensive exam on 8/5.

Your course grade will be weighted through the following assignments:  

Class participation 20% (includes general discussion, group exercises)
Short papers (2) 25% x 2 = 50%
Exam 30%

Attendance and Discussion
Because the course meetings are of significant length and importance, course attendance is critical. Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions, group exercises, and the practicum. In keeping with standard School of Library and Information Science policy, incompletes will be issued only for exceptional and compelling circumstances.

Deadlines and Due Dates
All assignments are to be submitted complete on the due dates as specified. Students submitting assignments late will be penalized one letter grade in the assessment of the final grade for the assignment. If a student cannot submit an assignment by the due date, it is his/her responsibility to discuss the situation with the instructor prior to the due date.

Quality of Work
This is a Graduate course. Therefore, students are expected to produce mature written work of a scholarly level that conforms to a particular style manual and presents a well-supported thesis, free of spelling and major grammatical errors. More information on paper expectations and requirements will be provided at the first class meeting.

Textbooks and Readings

Course Readings
There is no textbook for this course.  All readings will be provided via ANGEL and will be available, along with a reading schedule, by June 4th.

No Textbooks For This Course

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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