The activities of individuals and organizations leave documentary traces (e.g. letters, reports, photographs, maps, e-mail messages, web pages, videos) that will inform the future about contemporary life. This documentary heritage will be essential for developing appropriate policies, holding public officials accountable, protecting the rights of citizens, promoting organizational sustainability, conveying social memory, and allowing individuals to understand their own identities in relation to the past.
The amount of information being generated continues to grow every day, but this does not mean information will be available, usable, or understandable in the future. A new generation of information professionals will be needed – working with those who create valuable information – to appraise, describe, preserve, interpret, and provide meaningful access to records. The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and its faculty are world-renowned for leadership and contributions to the archives and preservation field, particularly in the area of digital preservation. Our graduates are shaping the archival profession and meeting the challenges of the information age.
The Concentration of Study in Archives and Record Management (ARM) at SILS provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work in archives, special collections, historical societies, records management units within organizations, and various other curatorial environments. The principles and practices of ARM are based on provenance, collection-level arrangement, and attention to context, all of which are becoming increasingly relevant with the massive explosion of information across all sectors of society. Students with an ARM concentration can pursue either the Master of Science Information Science or the Master of Science in Library Science degree. Preparation for a career in archives and records management is not associated specifically with either one of the master’s degrees at SILS.
There are numerous opportunities at UNC to apply and develop ARM skills through practical engagement. Just a few examples of field experience placements include the Southern Historical Collection, the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, Documenting the American South, ibiblio, Ackland Art Museum, University Archives, and Information Technology Services. With Chapel Hill’s close proximity to Raleigh, the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina State University, and Duke University, students can also pursue opportunities in various settings such as public archives, colleges and universities, museums and cultural heritage sites, photographic and film collections, public libraries, foundations, government agencies, and corporations.