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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  July 2006, Week 2

ARCHIVES July 2006, Week 2

Subject:

Archival Programs in Canada

From:

Lori Nordland <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Lori Nordland <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 14 Jul 2006 16:32:12 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (77 lines)

 
I am currently finishing up my Masters of Arts degree in Archival
Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
There are approximately 5 MAS programs in Canada - the two you
identified in your email (University of Toronto and University of
British Columbia), Laval University in Quebec (French-speaking, so this
may limit you), and if I remember correctly, McGill University also in
Montreal, Quebec.

Of the English programs, University of Manitoba, UBC and Toronto have
their pros and cons, which include cost of tuition, living expenses,
grants/scholarships/bursaries, and length of program.  

University of Manitoba archival program is quite small, in terms of
student size which is capped at 6 students per year, and the courses are
taught by Dr. Tom Nesmith and Dr. Terry Cook.  Both teach archival
theory from a post-modorn perspective, and teach the students to view
archives as beyond the "keeper of the records".  We are information
managers, and work in making information accountable to the people.  The
program, in my opinion, is one of the best in Canada, but of course, I
am quite biased on this.  The small number of students each year makes
us all a close knit group, which is great.  Also every student gets a
paid internship which also counts as course credit in the summer.  Some
of the internships are at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special
Collections, and some are at the world-reknown Hudson's Bay Company
Archives (this is where I did my internship and really enjoyed it
http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/index.html).  Course work is over
2 full academic years with 2 full year courses in archival theory and
practice, one full year course in Canadian history, and a half year
course.  Then, comes the kicker - this program is thesis-based.  So you
get to write a thesis that is about 100-120 pages.  But it's not as
scary as it seems - I'm working on my second MA and second thesis.  And
surviving both!  The program is comprehensive and well-rounded, but can
be a heavy workload that is manageable.  Do check it out
(http://www.umanitoba.ca/history/archives/index.html).

I understand that UBC does have a course-based option, but do not know
enough about to comment, except to say that this program is also highly
regarded in Canada.  UBC does have an "advanced" program in which
students can graduate with both an MLIS and an MAS.  Terry Eastwood and
Luciana Duranti are the main instructors, and also highly regarded in
the archival community.  

Wendy Duff, another highly regarded archivist and educator, is the
instructor at the FIS at Toronto.  I did know a guy who was doing his
PhD, and he recommended the program.  And, that is about where my
knowledge of this ends.

However, the cost of living in Canada varies greatly from city to city.
And, this is something that you may wish to consider if choosing a
program.  Winnipeg is the cheapest (by far) - a two bedroom apartment in
Winnipeg near the University will range from 550 to 600 per month plus
electricity and cable/phone.  Toronto and Vancouver will be outrageously
expensive (sorry to those living there, but all would agree).  Rent
could be over 1000 per month and less than that you may be looking at
dodgy digs or an area way out of the area.

I would be glad to discuss the UofM program with you in more detail, and
the Canadian concept of total archives (government and private
manuscripts are all at the archives rather than divided between
libraries and archives) offline.

Cheers
Lori Nordland, UofM graduate student

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