Bastian / Yakel (15 July 2004) ICA Vienna 7
Is there a core archival knowledge that is taught to students in archival education
programs regardless of venue (History, Public History, Library and Information
Science Programs, Museum Studies, etc.)
What influence does venue or context have on the core knowledge presented in
archival education courses?
How does the development of a core knowledge base in archives education relate
to the evolution of Archives as a distinct profession?
Core knowledge was operationalized in two ways: as an overall grouping of courses
within a given school or department (venue) and in terms of the required and recommended
readings in a given syllabi. In this way, we were able to examine courses across venues and
present comparisons and contrasts. Identifying knowledge and theory could have been done
in several ways, such as examining writings in such journals as Archivaria and American
Archivist or surveying archival educators on what they considered core theories and
knowledge. Instead, we chose to examine how knowledge and theory are articulated through
archival education. While we recognize that there are a number of means of doing this, such
as sitting in on classes, we selected methods to support an in-depth study of programs and
syllabi which form the initial means of introducing students to the profession as the best way
to study "core" knowledge. We are, of course, under no illusions that students read all of the
assigned texts or that professors actually refer to all of the readings. However, we think that
the combination of programs, courses and syllabi provides a good approximation of what
archival educators see as important concepts and skills to which students should be exposed.
Using existing directories and information published by the Society of American
Archivists, the National Council on Public History, and the American Historical Association,