INF 7780 and HIS 7820: Description and Access for Archives

Credits: 3 Credits

Prerequisite or corequisite: INF 7710 (or HIS 7840)

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

The description of and systems used for accessing archival materials are unique and separate from traditional library description. This course investigates the description of archival materials with particular emphasis on the application of electronic technologies and standard practices developed in the archival profession.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Compare various types of descriptive archival records for access.
  2. Create an Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aid.
  3. Use mark-up languages and apply suitable stylesheets for metadata.
  4. Interpret standards of description for use in the archival profession.
  5. Critique content management systems available to archival professionals.


  1. Comparisons of various cataloging standards used in archives
  2. Assessment of finding aid standards for improved access
  3. Application of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) to archival materials
  4. Mark-up languages based in XML and XML editors
  5. Mark-up of finding aids in EAD
  6. Assessment of Content Management Systems
  7. Research of new trends in archival description

Course methodology

Lectures, discussions, hands-on projects, exams, research papers, presentations, and other assignments

Bases for evaluation of student performance

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


 To be determined

Approved: 11/15

Updated: 4/17