INFO 256-11
Archives & Manuscripts
Fall 2021 Syllabus

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

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19, 6 am PT 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 in 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managing archival documents, such as personal papers, institutional records, photographs, electronic records, and other unpublished material.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 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 PM of Week 12 (11/8) and Week 14 (11/22), respectively.
    • The first Assignment involves the use of a social bookmarking website ( and active monitoring of current Web news stories involving archives over the first 10 weeks of the course. This Assignment is done in groups. 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 and a written report about your visit. Requirements provided via Canvas. This Assignment supports CLO#2, CLO#3, CLO#4 and CLO#5
  • Completion of a comprehensive exam - available on 12/1 at 9:00 AM PST, due 12/2 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 Calendar 

This course is structured overall as a series of Monday-Sunday weeks. Even though Fall 2021 courses officially open on August 19, for this course Week 1 begins on August 23, so you have a few extra days to complete the reading (there is quite a bit).

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

  • Week 1 (8/23): The Archival Mission; Archival Ethics; the Archival Profession
  • Week 2 (8/30): Archival Appraisal & Appraisal Models
  • Week 3 (9/6): Acquisitions and Accessioning
  • Week 4 (9/13): Archival Arrangement
  • Week 5 (9/20): Archival Description
  • Week 6 (9/27): Standards - Standards and Technology, part 1
  • Week 7 (10/4): Best Practices - Standards and Technology, part 2
  • Week 8 (10/11): Preservation and Security
  • Week 9 (10/18): Access and Reference
  • Week 10 (10/27): Outreach and Promotion
  • Week 11 (11/1): Audiovisual and Film
  • Week 12 (11/8): Digital Archives (Assignment 1 due 11/14, 11:59 PM PST)
  • Week 13 (11/15): Management
  • Week 14 (11/22): Introduction to Digital Humanities (Assignment 2 due 11/28, 11:59 PM PST)
  • Week 15 (11/29): Comprehensive exam opens Wednesday, 12/1, 9:00 AM PST, due Thursday, 12/2, 11:59 PM PST. A study guide will be provided via Canvas at the end of Week 11. 

Your course grade will be weighted through the following assignments:  

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

Course Content Delivery
All Course lecture is delivered via videocasts accessible via the Web. The videocasts are available for download and are .mp4 files containing both audio and video. Each videocast will have transcripts for accessibility. It is the student's responsibility to convert these files to a format appropriate for delivery on devices other than desktop/laptop computers.

All other course content is delivered via Canvas or via links to the WWWeb.

Deadlines and Due Dates

Lecture comments/questions, class exercises, and discussion questions/comments are due via their assigned Week's Discussion Board by Saturday of their Week at 11:59 PM PST so that I may comment on the Week discussion and create any follow-up.

The two short Assignments are due on Sunday of their Week by 11:59 PM PST. Any last-minute questions about these Assignments must be submitted by the Friday prior to the due date by 5:00 PM PST. See the Assignments and Course Calendar 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 9/17) at 5:00 PM PST. Please send me a message via Canvas with your site and archivist contact information, especially an email address. Contact me via Canvas if you need help with this. 

In order to share your professional archival repository 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 10/1) at 11:59 PM PST. This site description is graded. 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. You will lose points for poor writing.

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 200, INFO 202, INFO 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 Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  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. (2020). Developing and maintaining practical archives: A how-to-do-it manual (3rd ed.). 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 or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — 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.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 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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