MARA 200-10
The Record and the Recordkeeping Professions
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Nancy Kunde
Phone: 608-846-9294
Office hours: Thursday 6:00-7:00 pm CST, Friday 10-11:00 am CST or by appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Course Calendar
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel. You will be required to use a password access code. The code will be provided to you via the MySJSU Messaging system.

Course Description

The role of records and recordkeeping in society; history, definitions and important concepts related to records and recordkeeping; contexts and critiques of records and recordkeeping; significant scholars and recordkeepers throughout history. Not repeatable.

Prerequisites: Demonstrated computer literacy through completion of required new student online technology workshop.

Note: Satisfactory completion of all written assignments in this course fulfills the university's "Competency in Written English" requirement.

Core Competencies

This course supports the following MARA Core Competencies:

  • A. Articulate the ethics, values, and foundational principles of archives and records management professionals and appreciate the important role recordkeepers play in social memory and organizational accountability.
  • B. Recognize the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of records, recordkeeping and records use.
  • G. Know the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in records management and the role the recordkeeper plays in institutional compliance and risk management.

Course Objectives

At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate and explain the significance of records to society and the history of archives and recordkeeping in the Western tradition.
  • Articulate and employ fundamental recordkeeping concepts, such as authenticity, reliability, context, and the role of records in institutional and public accountability.
  • Describe and assess the dominant recordkeeping philosophies and models and their advantages and limitations.
  • Locate, critically evaluate, and use literature and resources provided by the publications and associations that support the recordkeeping professions.
  • Demonstrate the written and oral skills required of the recordkeeping professional.

Course Requirements

Course Assignments
This course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts, institutions, and seminal theorists of archives and recordkeeping, along with the predominant literature of the profession.

Details for the assignments listed below will be posted under your Course Documents on Blackboard.

Students accumulate 100 points to determine the course grade. See Grading for details.

  • Journal / association analysis (10 points, due week 3). Describe and critically assess the focus, content and value of one professional journal and one significant professional association.
  • Article critique (10 points, due week 5). Locate, read, analyze, and respond to two articles on the values, ethics, or social roles and responsibilities of the recordkeeping professions.
  • Institutional Assessment and Review (10 points, due week 8). Select an archival or records repository and, using criteria provided, evaluate its mission and goals, holdings, services, clienteles, and the professional theories and methodologies used to select and manage collections.
  • Annotated bibliography and literature review (25 points, due week 11). Locate and evaluate 12-15 sources relevant to your research paper topic and create an annotated bibliography of those sources (in APA style). The introduction to the annotated bibliography will consist of a short literature review in which you critically assess what has already been written on your topic and the contribution your research will make.
  • Research paper (30 points, due week 15). Write a formal research paper in which you analyze a significant issue confronting the recordkeeping professional today. Paper topics may be selected from the areas covered in class, including but not limited to the history of records and recordkeeping throughout the world, major archival theorists and their theories, archives and social memory, the role of records in institutional accountability, changing archives clienteles, and other social issues that impact records and recordkeeping. The text of your paper should be 15 to 20 pages in length; the reference list should include at least 20 citations. You will be graded on the extent of your research, your description and critical analysis of the topic, the evidence you provide in support of your argument, and the clarity and quality of your writing. Your references and formatting should adhere to the rules established in the APA Publication Manual.
  • Participation (15 points). A portion of the overall grade is allocated for class participation. For the purposes of this class, participation includes attendance at all Elluminate sessions, thoughtful contribution to class discussions and the presentation of your research paper findings. Your participation should demonstrate that you are making an effort to master the material covered in the course and contributing to the learning of your peers.

Course grades are determined by the accumulation of 100 points, distributed as outlines above under course assignments.

Late Assignments
Assignments turned in after the due date will be deducted one letter grade from that earned if the assignment had been completed on time.

The course will be available in ANGEL beginning August 21  through December 10, the last day of class.

Course Calendar

  • Week 1:   August 24-August 30. 
    Introduction to course; overview of course expectations and objectives, texts, readings, assignments. 
    History of the record and recordkeeping--part 1.
    • Duranti, L. (1993). The odyssey of records managers. In Tom Nesmith (Ed.), Canadian Archival Studies and the Rediscovery of Provenance (pp.29-60). Metuchen, N.J., & London: SAA and ACA in association with The Scarecrow Press.  (Also available in the Records Management Quarterly, July 1989.)
    • Posner, E. (1984). Some aspects of archival development since the French Revolution. In M. Daniels &T. Walch (Eds.). A Modern Archives Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practice (pp. 3-14). Washington, D.C.: NARS.
    • Cook, T. (1997). What is past is prologue: A history of archival ideas since 1898, and the future paradigm shift. Archivaria, 43, 17-63.
    • Gilliland, A. (1998). The development of archivology in the Western World. Located online at
    Additional reading:
    • Kaplan, E. We Are What  We Collect, We Collect What We Are:  Archives and the Construction of Identity,  The American Archivist, 63, 126-151.
    • Lubar, S. Information Culture and  the Archival Record.  The American Archivist, 62, 10-22.
  • Week 2:   August 31-September 6. 
    History--part 2; overview of the professions: professional associations, professional literature, listservs
    • McKemmish, et al, Chapters 1, 2
  • Browse:
  • Week 3: September 7-September 13.
    First assignment due--September 13--Journal/Association analysis.
    Modern archives
    • McKemmish et al., Chapters 3, 4, 5
  • Week 4:  September 14-September 20. 
    Records management and archives: strange bedfellows or kissing cousins?
    • McKemmish et al., Chapters 6, 7
    Additional reading:
    • Walne, P. (Ed.) (1985). Modern archives administration and records management: A RAMP reader. (RAMP Study PGI-85/WS/32). Paris, FR: UNESCO..
    • Myburgh, S. (March/April 2005) Records management and Archives:  Finding Common Ground, The Information Management Journal, Vol. 39, No 2, 24-29
  • Week 5:  September 21-September 27.
    Second assignment due--September 27--Article critiques
    Setting the stage: Defining concepts.
    • McKemmish, et al, Chapter 9
    Additional reading:
    • Duranti, L. (1995, Spring). Reliability and authenticity: The Concepts and Their Implications, Archivaria, 39, 5-10.
    • Bearman, D. (1994). Electronic evidence.  Chapters 1 & 2.  

  • Week 6:  September 28-October 4.
    Models of recordkeeping: the life cycle and the continuum
    • McKemmish et al., Chapter 8
    Additional reading:
    • Cook, T. (2000, August). Beyond the screen: The records continuum and archival cultural heritage. Paper presented at the Australian Society of Archivists Conference, Melbourne.
    • Upward, F. (2004, May).  The Records Contiuum and the Concept of End Product.  Archives and Manuscripts.
  • Week 7:    October 5-October 11.
    It's all about context - the various contexts of records
  • Week 8:   October 12-October 18.
    Third Assignment due--Octover18--Institutional assessment.
    What is an archivist? What is a records manager? 
    • Blouin & Rosenberg, Part I. Essays
    • Green, M. (2009, Spring/Summer). The Power of Archives:  Archivists Values and Value in the Postmodern Age.  The American Archivist, 72, 17-41.
    Additional reading:
    • The Association of Canadian Archivists. "What is an Archivist?" located online:
    • Cox, R. Closing an Era:  Historical Perspectives on Modern Archives and Records Management.  Chapters 2 & 6.  Greenwood Publishing Group.  (2000).
  • Week 9:   October 19-October 25.
    Recordkeeping and the social sciences.
    • Blouin & Rosenberg, Part II. Essays
  • Week 10:  October 26-November 1. 
    Records and large social issues (access to government information, freedom of information, privacy, oral traditions, non-literate societies).
    • Blouin & Rosenberg, Parts IV. and V. essays
    • McKemmish et al., Chapters 10, 11
    Additional reading:
    • Schwartz, J. & Cook, T. (2002). Archives, records and power: The making of modern memory. Archival Science, 2, 1-19.
    • Whorely, T. (2005).  The Tuskegee Syphilis Study:  Access and Control over Controversial Records. Proctor, M. & Cook, M (eds.).  Political Pressure and the Archival Record.  Society of  American Archivists.  pp. 109-117.
    • Bastian, J.(2005).  Whispers in the Archives:  Finding the Voices of the Colonized in teh Records of the Colonizer.  Political Pressure and the Archival Record.  Proctor,M. & Cook M. (Eds.) pp. 25-43.
    • Barry, R. (2005).  Ethics Issues for the Creators, Managers, and Users of Records.  Political Pressure and the Archival Record. Proctor, M. & Cook, M. (Eds.) pp. 131-149.
  • Week 11:   November 2-November 8.
    Fourth Assignment Due--November 8--Bibliography/literature review.
    The "new" history: records and collective memory. 
    Blouin & Rosenberg, Part III. Essays
    • McKemmish et al., Chapter 12
    • Bastian, J. (2009 Spring/Summer).  Flowers for Homestead:  A Case Study in Archives and Collective Memory.  The American Archivist, 72, 113-132.
  • Week 12:  November 9-November 15.
    The 'post-modern' recordkeeper
    • Cook, T. (2000). Archival science and postmodernism: New formulations for old concepts. Archival Science, 1(1), 3-24.
    • Cook, T. (2001, Spring). Fashionable nonsense or professional rebirth: Postmodernism and the practice of archives. Archiveria, 51, 1-25.
    • Nesmith, T. (2002 Spring/Summer).  Seeing Archives:  Postmoderism and the Changing Intellectural Place of Archives.  The American Archivist, 65, 24-41.
  • Week 13:  November 16-November 22.
    Profiles in courage: Significant recordkeepers, then and now.
    • Re-read Cook, T. (1997, Spring).What is past is prologue: A history of archival ideas since 1898, and the future paradigm shift. Archivaria, 43, 17-63.
    • Lindberg, L. (2005). Margaret Cross Norton: Archival visionary. Unpublished paper for INFO STD 281 - Historical Methods in Information Studies. Los Angeles: University of California at Los Angeles, Department of Information Studies.
    • Ryan, D. (2005).  Digital Preservation--'the beautiful promise.' Managing Electronic Records.  McLeod, J and Hare (eds.).  50-62.
  • Week 14:  November 23-November 29.
    Ellumiante Session--Research paper presentations and discussion
  • Week 15:  November 30-December 7.
    Final Assignment Due-December 10--Research paper.
    Elluminate Session--Research paper presentations and discussion

Textbooks and Readings

Additional Readings
All additional readings will either be:

  • Posted in ANGEL
  • Available online through the SLIS Restricted Reading(RR)s (username and password )
  • Provided online through other publicly available portals (URLs provided below).

Required Textbook:

  • American Psychological Association (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1557987912. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Blouin, F., & Rosenberg, W. (2006). Archives, documentation, and the institutions of social memory. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Available through Amazon: 0472032704. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • McKemmish, S., Piggott, M., & Reed, B. (2005). Archives: Recordkeeping in Society. Centre for Information Studies. Available through Amazon: 1876938846. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain


This course satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

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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