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

First Weeks

Hey everyone. The current semester is rolling along just fine despite it being an unusual one compared to a typical SLIS semester. As I’ve been taking more archives focused classes, I’m starting to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of the profession. In my class LIS440 or Archival Access, I’ve learned about many of the key principles of being an archivist. Some of them are ones that are building off of concepts I learned in previous classes about describing metadata and how you describe items within your archives. In addition, I’ve been learning about how to categorize items within an archive by series or collection level which builds off of previous librarian concepts like Work, Expression, Manifestation, or Item levels. It’s going to be a pretty important class for understanding how to use an archive as both an archivist and a user. 

In another class, LIS 441, Archival Appraisal, I’ve been learning about how to best conduct appraisal within an archive. Appraisal is such an important part of the profession because it has to consider so many limitations that an archive has intellectually and physically. Appraisal has to be aware of the biases of an archive and archivist in selecting what to take into their collection. Especially after this past summer, understanding how an archive constructs a narrative and is subject to biases like anybody else is becoming increasingly important as we see how important these narratives are to our understanding of the past. Both of these courses are fundamental to becoming a better archivist and curator of our history and will be important as the profession reacts and adapts to an increasingly evolving world.