INFO 256-11
Archives & Manuscripts
Fall 2016 Syllabus

Lori A Lindberg
Other contact information: via Canvas
Office location: virtual
Office Hours: by appointment. Please e-mail.

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 24th, 6 am PDT unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

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managing archival documents, such as personal papers, institutional records, photographs, electronic records, and other unpublished material.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.

Course Requirements


  • Full participation in assigned reading/viewing of instructional material, all Canvas class discussion posts, and bookmarking/tagging; These activities support CLO#1, CLO#2, CLO#3 and CLO#4

  • Completion of assigned in-class exercises; Requirements provided via Canvas. These exercises support CLO#1;

  • Composition of two short Assignments (< 10 pp. narrative) in response to tasks/questions posed by the instructor, due Sunday at 11:59 p.m. of Week 12 (11/13) and Week 14 (12/4), respectively.

    • The first Assignment involves the use of a social bookmarking website and active monitoring of current news stories involving archives over the first 10 weeks of the course. Requirements provided via Canvas. This Assignment supports CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4 and CLO#5
    • The second Assignment involves a virtual and physical visit to an archival repository in your geographic area. Requirements provided via Canvas. This Assignment supports CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4 and CLO#5

  • Completion of a comprehensive exam - available on 12/7 at 9:00 AM PST, due 12/9 11:59 PM PST. The exam is a combination of 20 fill-in-the-blank, short answer, multiple choice and True-False questions and is administered entirely in Canvas. This exam supports CLO#1

Course Outline
Heed the calendar. 

This course is structured overall as a series of Monday-Sunday weeks. Week 1 begins on August 24, so it is a little short. There will be no class activity during Thanksgiving week, Nov 21 - 25.

This schedule is subject to change with fair notice. The date in parentheses is the FIRST day of the week, Monday.

  • Week 1 (8/22): The Archival Mission; Archival Ethics; the Archival Profession
  • Week 2 (8/29): Archival Appraisal & Appraisal Models
  • Week 3 (9/5): Acquisitions and Accessioning
  • Week 4 (9/12): Arrangement
  • Week 5 (9/19): Archival Description
  • Week 6 (9/26): Standards - Standards and Technology, part 1
  • Week 7 (10/3): Best Practices - Standards and Technology, part 2
  • Week 8 (10/10): Preservation and Security
  • Week 9 (10/17): Access and Reference
  • Week 10 (10/24): Outreach and Promotion
  • Week 11 (10/31): Audiovisual and Film (Halloween! Watch a horror movie this week!)
  • Week 12 (11/7): Digital Archives (Assignment 1 due 11/13, 11:59 pm)
  • Week 13 (11/14): Management
  • (11/21): Thanksgiving Week - Enjoy your break!
  • Week 14  (11/28): Introduction to Digital Humanities (Assignment 2 due 12/4, 11:59 pm)
  • Week 15 (12/5): Comprehensive exam due Friday, 12/9. A study guide will be provided.

Your course grade will be weighted through the following assignments:  

Class participation 30% (includes general discussion, weekly bookmarking, exercises)
Short Assignments (2) 25% x 2 = 50%
Comp Exam 20%

Deadlines and Due Dates
All Course lecture is delivered via Collaborate. Lectures are recorded on Monday mornings, so the course week will run from Monday - Sunday. Lecture viewing comments, in-class exercises and discussion questions/comments are due via their assigned Week's Discussion Board by Friday of their Week at 11:59 p.m. PST so that I may comment on the Week discussion and create any follow-up to accompany the following Week's lecture. The two short Assignments will be due on Sunday of their Week by 11:59 p.m. PST. Any last-minute questions about these Assignments must be submitted by the Friday prior to the due dates at 5:00 p.m. PST. See the Assignments and Course Outline sections above for these due dates.

Because one of the two major assignments requires a physical visit to a professional archival repository, students should begin a canvass of their area to identify potential locations immediately. I will need notice of your site no later than Friday of Week 4 (that's 9/16) at 5:00 pm PST. Please send me an e-mail with your site and archivist contact information, especially an email address. Contact me if you need help with this.  In order to share your site with your classmates, you must post a brief (one paragraph) description of your site to a Canvas Discussion Board specially prepared for this by Friday of Week 6 (that's 9/30) at 11:59 p.m. PST. More information will be available via Canvas.

All assignments are to be submitted complete on the due dates as specified. Students submitting assignments late will be penalized one letter grade for papers and no credit for exercises in the assessment of the final grade. 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.

All dates will be posted on the course site calendar tool on Canvas. However, if there is a discrepancy between Canvas and this Syllabus, the Syllabus prevails.

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 (APA) and presents a well-supported thesis, free of spelling and major grammatical errors.

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

INFO 200INFO 202INFO 204

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of basic archival principles and practices.
  2. Describe the variety of functions performed by archives and archivists, and the range of environments in which archival professionals work.
  3. Identify the issues involved in acquiring, processing, and making records available to researchers.
  4. Identify the similarities and differences between the roles of archivists and related information professionals.
  5. Define the challenges facing the archives profession today and in the future.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 256 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  3. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.


Required Textbooks:

  • Hunter, G. S. (2015). Developing and maintaining practical archives (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal Schuman. Available through Amazon: 083891277Xarrow 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 or Informatics) — 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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