Bastian / Yakel (15 July 2004) ICA Vienna 2
as central to an education program. Thus, the acquisition of knowledge is widely viewed as
an essential component of professionalization.
This study examines North American archival curriculum within the context of
professional knowledge. At the heart of the study are the authors' convictions that if archival
profession in North America has developed to the point where the formal professional
knowledge required to perform archival work has created an agreed upon educational core
then this core must be consolidated and placed at the center of professional identity. In other
words, if archivists' work is to take its place within the ranks of autonomous professions,
then it must be underpinned by a core curriculum that is recognized, endorsed and supported
by the archival profession.
For archivists, the search for professionalism has been a long and evolving process.
An archival career in the early and mid-twentieth century typically began as an
apprenticeship and only recently has required an advanced degree focused specifically on
acquiring archival knowledge. Identifying, codifying, and teaching the archival knowledge
base (in terms of both the theory and practice) has developed slowly over the past 50 years,
and as recently as 1990 Timothy Ericson argued that a large percentage of so-called "archival
education" was comprised of "courses that might benefit an archivist" rather than being a
true archival curriculum.
Previous research has led us to conclude that over the past decades not only has the
number of archival courses increased but that true archival curricula have emerged.
we as well as other researchers have documented the increasing number of courses, there
have been few attempts to examine the content of the courses within these developing
curricula to see whether a core archival knowledge base is emerging. This article reports the