L-60. Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians, Booksellers & Collectors

Lisa Conathan 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. Similarly, booksellers and collectors commonly find themselves handling material that may best be managed using archival principles. 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, engagement with archives, collecting experience, 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

2020–
Lisa Conathan & Bill Landis co-teach this course, as "Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians, Booksellers & Collectors"
2010–2014
Jackie Dooley & Bill Landis co-teach this course, as “Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians.”
2008–2009
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

Faculty

  • Lisa Conathan
  • Bill Landis

Lisa Conathan

Lisa Conathan is Head of Special Collections at Williams College, overseeing the Chapin Library of Rare Books and the College Archives. Before joining Williams, she worked at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, as Archivist and Head of Digital Services. Lisa’s research interests center on the creation and reuse of endangered language documentation, focusing on vernacular literacy and oral discourse in Native North America. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland.

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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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