L-60. Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians

Jackie Dooley Bill Landis

Libraries with special collections increasingly collect, curate, and service many forms of rare and archival materials within one integrated environment. Managers, curators, catalogers, and reference librarians whose education and experience have focused on published materials must therefore be conversant with archival techniques and issues. This course, intended for those without significant archival education or experience, will explore archival approaches to appraisal, acquisition, description, and access to personal papers and organizational records. Challenges associated with digitization and born-digital materials will be addressed. Aspects of professional culture, terminology, education and history will be compared to those of rare book librarianship. The course will include lectures, readings, discussion, practical exercises, and field trips to several Yale archival facilities.

In their personal statements, applicants should describe their professional education, work experience, archival responsibilities, and any topics they would particularly like to address in the course. Several exercises require the use of a computer, and students admitted to this course are expected to bring a laptop to class each day. Please be sure to indicate in your personal statement if you do not have ready access to a laptop that you can bring with you for the week.


Course History

Jackie Dooley & Bill Landis co-teach this course, as “Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians.”
Jackie Dooley & Bill Landis co-teach this course, as “Introduction to Archives for Rare Book Librarians.”

Course Resources

  • Advance Reading List
  • Evaluations for this course:

Related Courses


  • Jackie Dooley
  • Bill Landis

Jackie Dooley

Jackie Dooley is Program Officer at OCLC Research, before which she was Head of Special Collections and Archives at the University of California, Irvine. Her experience in special collections has spanned rare books, archives, manuscripts, and visual materials. She is active in both the Society of American Archivists and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries and is a member of the Working Group on Special Collections of the Association of Research Libraries. Jackie served as President of the Society of American Archivists in 2012–2013.

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Bill Landis

Bill Landis is Head of Public Services in Manuscripts & Archives, a department of the Yale University Library. His professional interests and experiences are in archives and digital libraries, especially relating to metadata and descriptive standards, access issues, and outreach and teaching with special collections. He is an active member and Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, for many years taught an introductory workshop on Describing Archives: A Content Standard for that organization, and recently completed a term as an elected member of its governing council.

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