Library and Information Science: Archives Management + History

Increasingly, archival employers have recognized that archivists require both technical skills and historical knowledge. Our Library and Information Science: Archives Management (MS) + History (MA) dual degree program combines a firm foundation in library and information science with an understanding of U.S. history and politics.

Student working in the archives

Do you love history? Preserve it for future generations

Our program helps students pursuing archival positions gain the knowledge they need more efficiently through a dual-degree program in history and archives management. You'll master skills in library and information science, archives management, historical methods and research and history.

Students do internships at Boston institutions such as the Massachusetts State Archives, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the John F. Kennedy Library, the U.S.S. Constitution Museum and Harvard University. You'll also complete a thesis project based on original research.

U.S. News & World Report Best Grad Schools Badge for Library & Information Studies, Archives

Ranked among the best

Simmons University is ranked #1 for Archives and Preservation by U.S.News and World Report.

Learn more about the History and Archives Management programs and the benefits of this dual degree.

The Dual Degree program in History and Archives Management consists of a total of 57 credit hours. Students take 9 credit hours of required library and information science courses, 15 credit hours of required core archives courses, and 9 credit hours of electives. In the History department, students complete 8 credit hours of required courses, 12 credit hours of History seminar electives at the 400 level or above and a 4 credit thesis. Only one application is necessary to apply to both programs. Applicants to this dual-degree option must be admitted to both programs.

Full-time students may complete the program in approximately two years. Part-time students must complete the program within six years of enrollment. 


Program Requirements

The core courses in library and information science:

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Five courses in archives management (15 credit hours)

LIS438 Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice 3
LIS440 Archival Access and Use 3
LIS442 Establishing Archives and Manuscript Programs 3
LIS433 Oral History 3
LIS441 Appraisal of Archives and Manuscripts 3
LIS443 Archives, History and Collective Memory 3
LIS456 Records Management Environments 3
LIS471 Photographic Archives 3
LIS472 Moving Image Archives 3
LIS476 Outreach and Advocacy for Cultural Heritage 3
LIS505M Government Archives 3
LIS439 Preservation Management 3
LIS444 Digital Preservation 3
LIS448 Digital Stewardship 3
Three elective courses (9 credits)

24 credit hours in the History Department

HIST597 Historical Methods 4
HIST527 Archives, History, and Collective Memory 4
HIST568 Seminar in Public History: Sites of History 4
12 credit hours of history electives at the 400 level or above
4 credit hours of final thesis

All dual-degree students must take Collective Memory or Sites of History. Students may take these classes as either an LIS elective for three credits (LIS 443 or LIS 532I) or a history elective for four credits (HIST 527 or HIST 568).

Since the 1970s, the demand for archivists is expanding as society becomes more aware of the value of preserving our heritage and records. Increasingly, archival employers have recognized that archivists use skills that require both technical training and historical knowledge, and they seek applicants with master's degrees in both library and information science and history.

Archivists collect, appraise, and preserve documents and materials found in manuscripts, moving images and photographs, oral-history recordings, multimedia, government records, and literary correspondence. They work in varied settings, such as public archives, colleges and universities, museums and cultural heritage sites, photographic and film collections, public libraries, foundations, government agencies, and corporations. New jobs have been created in public and private organizations, where archivists establish and maintain proper repositories for larger and more diverse collections of records. Some of these positions have grown out of field placements from archives programs, like the one at Simmons University. 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.

  • 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.
Headshot of Claudia Willett

Alumnae/i Feature

Be open to new experiences and believe in your ability to adapt to every opportunity. Making mistakes and facing really hard things, as well as celebrating the little victories, are marks of success.

Spotlight on Archives Management + History Students and Alums

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Sacha Lamb '20MS/MA Embraces Queerness and Jewish Folklore in Debut Novel

What led you to study Library and Information Science at Simmons? I had wanted to be a librarian for a long time. I love organizing things, so it seemed like a good fit. I grew up in the Boston area...

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The Mary Eliza Project Recognizes Boston's First Women Voters

Faculty and students at Simmons have joined to create the Mary Eliza Project , transcribing voter registers to create a searchable database of the more than 50,000 women who registered to vote in Boston in the months following the Nineteenth...

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A Tale of Two Librarians: SLIS alumnae/i at Cambridge Public Library

Librarian Sarah Yasuda '20MS and Archivist Alyssa Pacy '06MS, '07MA reflect on how their studies at Simmons SLIS impacted their careers, the unique rewards of public library work, and the coolest items you can find in the Cambridge Public Library...

Sarah Shepherd '23MAMS

Sarah Shepherd ’23MAMS Receives Ham Scholarship from the Society of American Archivists

The F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship Fund was established by F. Gerald Ham, past president of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), and his wife, Elsie Ham, in 1998. The fund, endowed in 2008, provides financial support to...

Shealynn Hendry ’21MS

Shealynn Hendry ’21MS Wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship for PhD

Shealynn Hendry ’21MS, a graduate of the dual degree in Archives Management and History (MS/MA) at Simmons, has won the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge, UK, for her PhD in History. Tell us about your studies...

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Activism Through Reading: Gabby Womack '17MA, '17MS Founds Bookish AfroLatina

Need a book recommendation? Gabby Womack '17MA, '17MS has read 135 so far this year, and she's just getting started. Learn why Gabby decided to create her site Bookish AfroLatina and how her Simmons experience inspired her to be a radical librarian.

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Visual History: Preserving Artifacts of Marginalized Groups with Carolina Quiroa ’21MS

Congratulations to Carolina Quiroa ’21MS, recipient of the 2019 Elmar W. Seibel Scholarship. In her award application, Quiroa shared her experience preserving the visual history of Guatemala.

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Bridgett Pride ’18MA, ’18MS Amplifies Marginalized Voices at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Bridgett Pride ’18MA, ’18MS shares why she loves working as a reference librarian and what it's like to work in an environment that affirms Black Life daily.