LIBR 284-12
Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Topic: Managing Photographic Collections
Spring 2014 Greensheet

Leigh Gleason
Office location: Riverside, CA
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 7-8pm (Pacific) and by appointment

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D2L Information: This course will be available beginning Thursday, January 23. You will be enrolled into the site automatically.

Course Description

This class will examine issues involving managing photographic collections in archives.  Topics covered will include photographic process identification, visual literacy, arrangement and description, storage/preservation needs, access, reference, digitization, rights and reproductions, curation, and born-digital image archives.

Course Requirements

There are four assignments in this course, with one split into two parts.  Students will complete a:

  • Processing assignment: Prepare a finding aid from a hypothetical collection with no original order (to be supplied by instructor) and a written explanation/justification.  Two weeks prior to due date, student will submit a brief processing plan.  Fulfills SLO #3.
  • Metadata assignment: Assign metadata to a set of images (provided by the instructor).  Fulfills SLO #1.
  • Research assignment: Write a short (3-5 page) research paper on any topic relevant to the class.  Depending on focus, fulfills SLO #4, and depending on topic may fulfill SLO #1#2, or #3.
  • Curatorial assignment: Select 10-15 images from a single online digital repository and writing a 1-page didactic essay contextualizing or describing the images, as would be done if the images were highlighted on an institution’s website or in a display space within the repository.  Fulfills SLO #4.

In addition to these assignments, students are expected to participate in weekly D2L discussion topics.  Fulfills SLO #1, #2#3, and #4.

Students will also be expected to complete weekly reading assignments from the course textbook, as well as articles and sources linked from the D2L course site.

Assignments will be due by 8pm (Pacific) on the date indicated on the course calendar and must be submitted via D2L.

Course Calendar

1 1/23 - 1/26 Introduction to course / history of photography
2 1/27 - 2/2 Identifying key photographic and negative processes
3 2/3 - 2/9 Handling, storage, and preservation of photographs and negatives
4 2/10 - 2/16 Arrangement and description
5 2/17 - 2/23

Archival appraisal in photographic collections
Processing plan due (2/23) 

6 2/24 - 3/2 Visual literacy
7 3/3 - 3/9 Metadata standards
Processing assignment due (3/9)
8 3/10 - 3/16 Subject access for visual collections
9 3/17 - 3/21 Digitization
  3/22 - 3/31 Spring Break
10 4/2 - 4/6 Born-digital photographic archives
Metadata assignment due (4/6)
11 4/7 - 4/13 Access
12 4/14 - 4/20 Reference
13 4/21 - 4/27 Curation
Research assignment due (4/27)
14 4/28 - 5/4 Rights management
15 5/5 - 5/13 Photographic archives in the 21st century
Curatorial assignment due (5/13)

Subject to change with fair notice.

Grading will be based on a total of 100 points, distributed as follows:

Assignment Point Value
Weekly D2L discussions 15
Processing assignment - processing plan 5
Processing assignment 20
Metadata assignment 20
Curatorial assignment 20
Research assignment 20

A full rubric will be provided in D2L to describe the expectations for each assignment.

One point will be deducted for every 12 hours that an assignment is late.  Late work without penalty is only accepted with the prior consent of the instructor.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain preservation concerns for many common types of photographic (print and negative) processes.
  2. Apply archival rules of appraisal, arrangement, and description to complex visual archives.
  3. Identify the complex issues relating to photograph digitization and born digital images, including management, access, metadata, and long-term preservation.
  4. Implement cold storage solutions for photographic materials
  5. Describe and discuss the nature of electronic records and the impact that technology has on recordkeeping in contemporary environments.
  6. Analyze how national and regional laws and regulations impact electronic records management.
  7. Identify appropriate metadata standards for the control and retrieval of electronic records.
  8. Create and develop policies, standards, and practices governing the creation, management, and use of electronic records.
  9. Discuss the challenges associated with preserving electronic records over time, and identify the methods and strategies being advocated by experts in the field to ensure that electronic records remain understandable, accessible, and usable.
  10. Define general requirements for compliant organizations and accountable electronic recordkeeping systems based on industry models and standards.
  11. Analyze a variety of problems related to electronic records, and propose solutions that are appropriate in particular contexts.
  12. Identify future Web 2.0 trends and practices in the creation of information in electronic form.
  13. Discuss major academic electronic records research projects proposed or undertaken by various organizations and institutions.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  2. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.
  3. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.


Required Textbooks:

  • Ritzenthaler, M. L. & Vogt-O'Connor, D. (2006). Photographs: Archival care and management. Society of American Archivists. Available through Publisher as PDF or ePUBarrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

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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