INF 7730 and HIS 7890: Administration of Audio Visual Collections

Credits: 3 credits

Prerequisite(s): INF 7710 (or HIS 7840) or approval of instructor

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

Administering an audio visual (A/V) archival collection (e.g., audio and sound files, video, movie, photographic, analog, digital, etc.) requires specialized historical and technical knowledge beyond basic archival principles and practices. This course is designed to acquaint the student with the care and administration of A/V collections contained in library special collections, archives, and museums.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Differentiate both historical and contemporary analog and digital A/V formats.
  2. Outline the history of A/V materials’ fragility and the currently accepted methods for conservation and preservation.
  3. Show ability to catalog, arrange, and access A/V materials in collections to facilitate retrieval and use.
  4. Recognize the management of original artifacts, pertinent policies, and appraisal standards within an archive.
  5. Explain the legal issues of copyright and privacy rights as they apply to the use and reproduction of A/V materials.
  6. Devise outreach uses for A/V collections.


  1. Survey of the history of A/V formats.
  2. Overview of A/V materials as documentary records, art, cultural artifacts, and communication media.
  3. History of the development of photographic processes, audio and videotape and motion film processes.
  4. Identification of processes, types and forms of photographs and film from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  5. Identification of processes, types and forms of A/V materials from the 20th century.
  6. Appraisal guidelines and policies for collecting A/V materials.
  7. Description, arrangement, and cataloging of collections of A/V for retrieval and use.
  8. Conservation, preservation, and storage procedures for the care of A/V collections.
  9. Legal issues for collections, including copyright and privacy rights.
  10. Duplication of A/V materials as a preservation measure and as a reference service.
  11. Outreach for A/V content and protective implementations in exhibitions.
  12. Hands on work on an A/V collection at a local archival institution.

Course methodology

Lectures, discussions, examinations, research papers, physical examination of audio visual materials and processes, demonstrations of duplication procedures, readings from selected bibliography, and hands-on practice in an A/V collection and with other audiovisual objects.

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Such activities may include any or all of the following: quality submissions of class discussions, examinations, research papers, and hands-on projects.


To be determined

Approved: 11/15