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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  June 2006, Week 2

ARCHIVES June 2006, Week 2

Subject:

Re: Name it-Claim it

From:

Chuck Hill <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Chuck Hill <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 14 Jun 2006 16:01:04 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (73 lines)

Hi (also coming out of my lurker mode),

This discussion is very intertesting to me.  Having been an itinerant 
archivist for many years (grant funded projects!), I can tell you how very 
frustrating it has been to see very good archival positions advertised 
requiring the MLS or MILS.  While I agree that we need to work together as 
information professionals, I disagree with the notion that someone with an 
MLS and additional training in archives is more qualified than a person with 
an MA in History and a lot of training in archives.

By this logic, since I have an MA in History and additional training in 
libraries, I should be able to get a position as a Librarian!

I think that the people responsible for academic libraries should start 
taking a look at the individuals qualifications and tell the HR people to 
bugger off!  I was fortunate in finding a position in an academic library 
where the position was advertised with a History degree requirement but it 
should be noted that the advertisements usually state something like "MA in 
History or closely related field and training in archives or an MLS."  The 
implication, of course, is that with only an MA in History you have to have 
additional traing in archives but with an MLS you do not.

I believe that a grounding in history is essential to the archival 
profession (period)

chuck hill
University Archivist
Eastern Kentucky University


----Original Message Follows----
From: Danna Bell-Russel <[log in to unmask]>

Hi (coming out of my lurker mode),

This is a discussion that has been repeated over and over and over again on 
the archives list. Those of you interested in the history of this debate can 
look there and also in several articles and books on the subject.

In regards to Jessi's comment, in the past (and I mean many, many decades 
ago) you had to apply formally to be a member of the Society of American 
Archivists and membership was limited so that the number of archivists could 
be limited. Much of that elitism or belief that archvists are elitist 
continues to this day.

I have my MLS and have additional training in archives (check the listserv 
to see my training story). Right now my focus is in education and outreach 
with a healthy dose of reference. I appreciate the skills and knowledge I 
have from both professions and have learned to blend both so that I can be 
the best INFORMATION PROFESSIONAL I can be whether I am working in archives, 
records management facility, at a reference desk or in front of a group of 
teachers working to learn how to incorporate primary sources into the 
classroom.

So enough already. We haven't solved which is better in terms of being an 
archivist, records manager or librarian. Get the most training you can so 
you can be flexible depending what the job market throws at you.

Danna Bell-Russel
Proud to wear many hats

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