Library and Information Science: Archives Management Concentration

Our Library and Information Science (MS): Archives Management program helps students gain knowledge in collecting, appraising and preserving documents and materials found in manuscripts, moving images and photographs, oral-history recordings, multimedia, government records and literary correspondence.

Student in the archives

Archivists are in high demand as society becomes more concerned with preserving our heritage.

We know you've done your research. So you probably know that Simmons has the #3 ranked Archives Management program in the country — but is it right for you?

The archival profession has been growing steadily as the number of records and the knowledge and social consciousness about saving them have increased. You'll establish and maintain proper repositories in public and private organizations — such as public archives, colleges and universities, museums and cultural heritage sites, photographic and film collections, public libraries, foundations, government agencies and corporations.

Because of our location in historic New England, we offer our students access to unique resources for study and research not found in other parts of the country. Our students go onto successful careers as processing, reference, digital assets and preservationist archivists.

Core Requirements

  • LIS Core Courses:
  • LIS 415 - Information Organization
  • LIS 407 - Reference/Information Services 
  • LIS 488 – Technology for Information Professionals 

Students are required to take LIS 407, LIS 415, and LIS 488 within their first 12 credits. * School Library Teacher Program and Archives Concentration students should see their respective program pages for specific requirements as they are different than those of other programs.

Four Archives Core Courses: 

  • LIS 438 - Introduction to Archival Methods and Services (internship required) 
  • LIS 440 - Archival Access and Use (prerequisites: LIS 415 and LIS 438) 
  • LIS 442 - Establishing Archives and Manuscripts Programs (prerequisite: LIS 438 and LIS 440)
  • LIS 456 - Records Management OR LIS 476 Archives and Cultural Heritage Outreach (prerequisite: LIS 407 and LIS 438 or LIS 432) OR LIS 441 Appraisal of Archives and Manuscripts (prerequisite: LIS 438) OR LIS 433 Oral History

One Preservation Course: 

  • LIS 439 - Preservation Management for Libraries and Archives OR LIS 448 - Digital Stewardship 

An internship is required as part of LIS 438. Students also have the option of taking LIS 502, which is a 130 hour internship plus three in-class meetings. Current standards in the archival profession recommend practical knowledge in addition to the best practices and theories taught in the core curriculum. 

For the additional semester hours required to complete the degree, archives management concentrators work with their advisor to design a program to meet individual backgrounds and goals. Although concentrators may take any courses in the SLIS program the following is a list of possible archives electives:

  • LIS 471 - Photographic Archives and Visual Information 
  • LIS 441 - Appraisal of Archives and Manuscripts (prerequisite: LIS 438) 
  • LIS 443 * see note below - Archives, History and Collective Memory 
  • LIS 433 - Oral History 
  • LIS 456 - Records Management
  • LIS 476 - Archives and Cultural Heritage Outreach (prerequisite 438) 
  • LIS 502 - Archives Field Study

*NOTE: This course is cross-listed with HIST 527. Dual Degree Archives/History students may register for this course through either the History department or SLIS.

For more details, see our course descriptions

Updated per faculty vote, May 2017.

Students may now complete the master of science degree program in library and information science fully online. Students may choose the DYO (Design Your Own) option, and customize their degree program to reflect their professional goals. Or, they may choose to concentrate their studies in archives management.

Archives Management Concentration Online

We also offer a fully online master's degree/Archives Management concentration. The concentration follows the same requirements of the Archives Management Concentration offered on campus. All class modalities are open to students in our program (online, face to face, blended). Course requirements are the same for all Archives Concentrators and include: Introduction to Archival Methods and Services (LIS 438), Archival Access and Use (LIS 440), a choice of 4 other courses and one preservation course. See the Program Requirements box above for more detail. 

Please be aware that an important component of the Simmons SLIS Archives Management concentration is an internship. This occurs as a 60-hour internship that will be completed during your second semester as part of LIS 438. Students also have the option of taking LIS 502, which is a 130 hour internship. We are committed to working with you as an online student to find sites in your local area, and will begin working with you on this process once your first semester's classes are underway.

Online Courses

Excepting mode of delivery, online courses are identical to face to face courses in content and learning objectives. Online courses are asynchronous, meaning that teaching and learning in the online course environment is not bound to time or place. Just as face-to-face students must meet assignment deadlines set by their instructors and actively engage in learning in the classroom space, online students are similarly obligated to complete assignments on time and participate in learning activities. The difference between the online and face-to-face experience: online students may access and engage with organized learning materials anytime and anywhere they are connected to the Internet.

Because all MS students may register for and participate in online classes, the SLIS online classrooms have become spaces for local and distant students to learn and network.

Some of these positions have grown out of field placements from archives programs, like the one at Simmons SLIS. Due to its strategic location in historic New England, Simmons offers students access to resources for study and research not found in other parts of the country; students who graduate with the Archives Management Concentration typically find employment in archives of all kinds. Opportunities include:

  • Processing Archivist: Arrange archival materials in folders and boxes, and create finding aids that describe the contents of a collection.
  • Reference Archivist: Assist researchers in finding relevant materials.
  • Digital Assets Archivist: Manage the digital holdings of an archive, including digital photographs and computer files. Digitize important collections and maintain online access to these materials.
  • Preservationist: Specialize in protecting archival materials from the damage that can arise from weather, environmental conditions, natural disasters, and age.

While all students enter the LIS program with different talents, skills, and abilities, LIS instructors expect all students to possess a baseline of knowledge, skill, and familiarity with technology. Read about the SLIS Tech Competencies and the Technology Requirements for students. 

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

Apply to the on-campus or online program.

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