#snaprt Chat Flashback: Archival Education

For the SNAP Roundtable Twitter chat on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 we discussed the types of archival education programs there are, what skills SNAPers learned, and what they wish they had learned while in school. Here is a summary of key points and a smattering of interesting tweets from the discussion.

What types of degrees are offered for those interested in becoming archivists? What are the advantages of the different types of degrees or particular degree programs?

Our SNAPers have a range of degrees from public history to MLS/MLIS and MSI degrees. There were pros and cons to each type of program. Some degrees offered a smattering of archival courses, while others were more LIS or computer science heavy. It was recommended to look into what individual programs offer in order to find the right fit for you.

What classes in your program did you find most useful and why?

Many praised their classes that gave them project management opportunities as it greatly benefited them upon entering the field. Others also mentioned practicum (internship experience), cataloguing, metadata, digital curation, and preservation courses:

What classes or pedagogical practices do you wish were more common in archival education programs?

The same types of courses that proved to be useful for our SNAPers were also courses they wish they had taken or were offered:

What is the role of archival education programs and the archives community in supporting practicum experiences for students?

Practicum experience was praised as a way to gain hands-on experience. Some SNAPers saw providing practicum experience as a part of their professional responsibility where they had the time and resources. Others hoped for more partnerships for grant funded projects that provide opportunities for students.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of professional archival certification?

Some saw professional archival certification as a way to standardize the field and archival training. However, certification can produce roadblocks for those that don’t have the funding to get it.

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