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

Summer Courses

June 20th marked the first day of an online summer course I’m taking at SLIS. The course is LIS 439: Preservation Management, and involves seven weeks of lectures, projects, and discussions on the topic of collection preservation mainly within archives. I am extremely excited for this course because preservation and collections management is what I want to do for a long-term career goal; my concentration is Cultural Heritage Informatics and I am trying to follow the Preservation track. I ultimately want to be caring for a museum collection or historical site’s archive, making sure that cultural heritage artifacts can continue being used to educate. 

This first week has focused on classmate introductions and a preview of the theoretical aspects of preservation: why do we preserve archives? How do archivists’ biases affect our cultural history? What is permanence and can it ever be achieved? What does preservation look like in the 21st century? Many people are sharing their real-world experiences with archival preservation, whether it be at a job or internship, and what that exposure has taught them about modern institutions’ approaches to preserving records. I have never worked in such an environment; I’ve worked in museum education and admired the collections and preservation departments from afar. It’s interesting to learn about both the theoretical and practical sides of the job, and I know the rest of the course will focus much more on the latter. Some of the upcoming assignments involve analyzing damaged objects in our personal collections or local repositories, quizzes about identifying specific bugs and vermin, and mock scenarios about what to do in case of a disaster. 

I’ll give an update in a few weeks on how the class is going, especially since I’ll be juggling it with a full-time job and living where there’s no Wi-Fi starting in July! I’m not worried– where there’s a local library, there’s wifi!