INF 7885 and HIS 7880: Cultural Heritage Institutions: Management and Leadership

Credits: 3 credits

Prerequisite(s): None

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

Many archivists, librarians, historians and other information professionals find employment in a broad range of public history institutions, such as museums, archival repositories, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies. This course explores the breadth of activities and functions of cultural heritage organization/historical institutions that are part of the expanding information sciences profession. It focuses on the functions and the management of cultural institutions.

Course objectives

To introduce students to:

  1. The breadth of cultural heritage/historical institutions.
  2. The variety of functions of those institutions
  3. The administration and management of institutions
  4. Community engagement of the institutions
  5. Historical content and controversies in the field
  6. Fiscal management including grant writing, and fundraising
  7. Career development within historical agencies
  8. Ethics of the collection and presentation of historical resources

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate an acquaintance with distinct types of cultural heritage organizations/historic agencies and their roles in society
  • Understand the role of administration in defining and implementing policies within an agency
  • Demonstrate an acquaintance with organizational planning
  • Identify funding sources relevant to cultural heritage organizations
  • Understand the principles of program development and marketing
  • Understand the importance of historical content in the collection and presentation of historical information
  • Understand the role of community and the importance of community engagement
  • Understand the role of government in historic agencies


  1. Historical content analysis
  2. Presentation of historical materials
  3. Historic preservation
  4. Historic museums
  5. Living history
  6. Grant writing
  7. Fund raising
  8. Management and planning
  9. Ethics and legal issues
  10. Community engagement

Course methodology

Discussions, written work, student presentations, historical site visit

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Participation, writing assignments, seminar paper, presentation, project


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 3/20