Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Digital Preservation Course

This semester I am taking a class called Digital Preservation. I haven’t had much previous experience with coding and such so this class has really taken me out of my comfort zone yet I can see just how useful it can be in not only the current archives field but in libraries as well. I see more and more advertisements for technology librarians; we no longer live in a print-based world in America.
Having mused over these things I began to wonder about the set-up of Simmons’ Archives Program. As a dual degree student I am studying both archives, under the broader Library Science program and History as a separate entity. Some schools, like U.T. Austin also place their archives programs under Library Science or in the case of Drexel, under Information Science. However, some institutions place their archives programs under their History programs, like UMass.
I have never been a part of the UMass program but as I delve deeper into these tech classes I can’t help but wonder how you obtain those technical skills in a history-based program. They seem incredibly important to the profession. I have learned how to migrate files, a must for digital archives, how to code simple webpages (always a useful skill) and other similar things. It may be that those skills are endemic in their archive concentration but it seems a shame to also lose the connection to libraries. Although we spend a lot of our time explaining to our friends and families that there is a difference between libraries and archives it is true that many times archives are situated within libraries so I think it is important to know how a library functions.
At Simmons I am blessed to be getting all three perspectives: Archives, Library and History. Even though a dual degree is not for everyone I still believe that for an archives profession the coupling of Archives and Library is much more practical than Archives and History.