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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  June 2006, Week 3

ARCHIVES June 2006, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Archival Education

From:

R L <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

R L <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 16 Jun 2006 17:20:24 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (149 lines)

I might be out of place for this discussion since I have not taken the MLS yet. But I think it's unfair that a lot of the jobs strictly require that applicants must have already received an MLS degree, because it blocks people like me who are hard-working and have gained valuable archival and preservation experiences from internships, workshops, and previous employment.  I would like to work in a better organization and I believe I have what it takes. Unfortunately, there are so many jobs that I've already passed since I'm not qualified for it merely because I don't have the Master's diploma. Don't get me wrong, I am pro education and I am now thinking of getting the degree since it's a "must" in this field, but I just think it's a little unfair that people like me aren't given the chance to develop in prestigious places just because you don't have the proper degree. 

I hope I'm wrong. Still trying. 

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Archival Education
> Date:         Fri, 16 Jun 2006 16:00:31 -0400
> 
> 
> The question of education vs. experience raises (at least to me) 
> this question: How many of you (archivists, librarians, et al.) had 
> experience in archives and/or libraries BEFORE your formal training?
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> > From: Richard Cox <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Jun 16, 2006 3:40 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Archival Education
> >
> > Beth Moser writes, “I don't think that there's a right way to go 
> > about becoming an archivist -- whether it's from a graduate 
> > history perspective or a MLS perspective. This has long been a 
> > debate in the archival world.”  John Erdmann writes, “I wonder, 
> > how did archivists and librarians ever got along before requiring 
> > advanced degrees and/or certifications?  Are the respective 
> > fields better for it?  I have talked to so many librarians who 
> > have told me that their experience in library school was 
> > virtually worthless.  Many have told me that the first job 
> > offered the best training.”  Erdmann, in a subsequent message, 
> > writes: “Must that education and training come in the form of 
> > advanced degrees at expensive universities, or could it come from 
> > the within the work environment, study on one's own, and at 
> > conferences?”
> >
> > There is a right way to become an archivist and not everything 
> > can be learned on the job.  There is a knowledge to our field (if 
> > there is not, then we are not a discipline) and there is a need 
> > for education (different from training).  As two recent observers 
> > about higher education have noted, “To succeed in education is 
> > not to succeed in what one sets out to do, or even to succeed in 
> > doing whatever is within the realm of possibility; success means 
> > to succeed in doing something worth doing.” (James Engell and 
> > Anthony Dangerfield, Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money 
> > [Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005], p. 128]  
> > We need education, not merely apprenticeship, credentialing, 
> > practical information, etc., because the archival mission is 
> > important to society (and, actually, there is quite a range to 
> > salaries for such positions).
> >
> > Leon Miller writes, “In other words, your title, your degrees, 
> > where you got your training and experience, are all pretty much 
> > crap. The archival profession needs to do a far, far better job 
> > of making the point that regardless of someone’s title, a person 
> > responsible for archival collections had damn well better be an 
> > archivist, had better have a thorough professional-level 
> > understanding of archival theory and practice (which, in the US 
> > today, usually means an MLS with a minimum of twelve semester 
> > credit hours in areas defined as core archival knowledge followed 
> > by archival certification within a year or two of graduation, 
> > although that is not quite yet the only route) and had better be 
> > able to apply archival theory and practice to their work.”  Yes, 
> > Leon is correct.  It is sad that those who complain about salary 
> > and recognition also are usually the ones who lament the need for 
> > real education.  Graduate archival education has changed quite a 
> > bit for the better over the past!
> >  few de
> > cades, and there are many programs far exceeding what Leon 
> > describes in his message.  Unfortunately, the profession 
> > generally seems ignorant of what this education represents and 
> > less than interested in arguing for it to be even better than it 
> > is.  No, you can’t learn all you need to know on the job or by 
> > reading quietly at home a few basic manuals.  Even to suggest 
> > this is to reflect why a stronger foundational education is 
> > needed.
> >
> > --
> > Richard J. Cox
> > Professor
> > Department of Library and Information Sciences
> > School of Information Sciences
> > University of Pittsburgh
> > Editor, Records & Information Management Report
> > Pittsburgh, PA 15260
> > Voice:  412-624-3245
> > FAX:    412-648-7001
> > e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> > homepage: http://www2.sis.pitt.edu/%7Ercox/
> >
> > "What we would like to do is change the world - to make it a 
> > little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves 
> > as God intended for them to do. And we can change the world: we 
> > can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a 
> > harried world.  We can throw our pebble in the pond and be 
> > confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the 
> > world." - Dorothy Day A posting from the Archives & Archivists 
> > LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, 
> > www.archivists.org.
> > For the terms of participation, please refer to 
> > http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.
> >
> > To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to [log in to unmask]
> >      In body of message:  SUB ARCHIVES firstname lastname
> >                    *or*:  UNSUB ARCHIVES
> > To post a message, send e-mail to [log in to unmask]
> >
> > Or to do *anything* (and enjoy doing it!), use the web interface at
> >     http://listserv.muohio.edu/archives/archives.html
> >
> > Problems?  Send e-mail to Robert F Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
> 
> A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by 
> the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
> For the terms of participation, please refer to 
> http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.
> 
> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to [log in to unmask]
>        In body of message:  SUB ARCHIVES firstname lastname
>                      *or*:  UNSUB ARCHIVES
> To post a message, send e-mail to [log in to unmask]
> 
> Or to do *anything* (and enjoy doing it!), use the web interface at
>       http://listserv.muohio.edu/archives/archives.html
> 
> Problems?  Send e-mail to Robert F Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>

>


-- 
_______________________________________________

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A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
For the terms of participation, please refer to http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.

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