Library and Information Science: Archives Management Concentration

Our Master of Library and Information Science (MS): Archives Management Concentration at Simmons University 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.

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?

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.

The Master’s in Library Science: Archives Management Concentration can be completed entirely online. In addition to face-to-face classroom options in Boston and at SLIS West (South Hadley and Amherst, Massachusetts), students can embark on a blended approach, combining online and face-to-face courses that meet their academic needs.

Why study in the Archives Management Concentration?

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.

What will you learn?

The Master's in Library and Information Science with Archives Management Concentration is a 36-credit program that imparts the concepts and competencies needed for archival positions in a variety of settings. In addition to three core courses in library and information science, Archives Management students take five core courses in areas such as archival arrangement and description, archives management, archival access, and managing electronic records.

All students complete one 60-hour internship in an archival setting as part of the curriculum. To fulfill the additional semester hours required for the degree, Archives Management concentrators work with their advisor to design a program to meet individual backgrounds and goals, which can include electives from across the library and information science curriculum.

What can you do with an Archives Management Concentration?

Simmons University is ranked #3 for Archives and Preservation by U.S.News and World Report. Students who graduate with the Archives Management Concentration 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.
  • Outreach Archivist: Increase outreach to undeserved and expanded communities through partnership, collaboration, and programming.

Graduates of our archives program also go on to work in a variety of settings such as:

  • University Archives
  • Special Collections
  • Government Archives
  • Historical Societies
  • Corporate Archives

Learn more about our Archives Management Concentration!

Take advantage of Boston while taking library science and archives degree courses on a flexible schedule, with classes held on days, nights, and weekends. Or, join Simmons from far away—the option to complete the degree online provides the utmost flexibility for students from every corner of the world. Ready find out more about the Master of Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management at Simmons? Request more information today!

The requirements for completing the 36-credit MS degree are as follows:

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. 

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 512, 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) 

*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.

SLIS Tech Competencies

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. 

Students may 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 or information science and technology.

Archives Management Concentration Online

The Archives Management Concentration follows the same requirements of the program offered on campus, including a 60-hour internship that will be completed within your first two semesters as part of LIS 438.

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.

Attend the LIS Master’s Program at SLIS West in South Hadley, Massachusetts located at Mount Holyoke College. The SLIS West Campus is primarily a part time program geared towards the needs of working students. The small classes, scheduling flexibility, and cohesive community help our working students succeed in the classroom and in their careers.

Courses are scheduled primarily on weekends, with some evening options available. Depending on the area of specialization, program requirements can be completed entirely at the SLIS West campus, although many students take a course or two online or in Boston. Boston students are also welcome to take classes at SLIS West.

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.

Our Faculty

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Sarah Pratt

  • Assistant Professor (NTT) and Manager of Field Experiences