LIS 646: Archives and Special Collections
Online, Spring 2013
"The mission of the University of Southern Mississippi Archives is to document the history and creation, development, priorities, activities and history of every administrative unit, academic school, department, research center or affiliate of the University."

Teresa S. Welsh, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Southern Miss School of Library & Information Science
Cook Library, Room 206H
Phone: 601.296.0528

This three hour course focuses on the acquiring, processing, servicing, and management of collections composed of rare books, manuscripts, archival papers, oral history files, and other special materials.

Prerequisites: LIS 501 and 505 or the consent of the professor.
Elective for MLIS; required for Graduate Certificate in Archives and Special Collections.

Online class discussions are scheduled on Monday evenings, 8:00 - 9:30pm Central time.

Drop Dates
The last day to drop full-term classes with refund is January 28th
The last day to drop full-term classes without academic penalty is February 7th.

Required Text
Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives: A How-to-Do-It- Manual, 2nd Edition
by Gregory S. Hunter, Neal-Schuman, 2003

Course Objectives

After completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:

  1. Conducting a survey and starting an archival program
  2. Selection, appraisal, and acquisition of materials
  3. Arrangement and description of archival materials
  4. Issues related to preservation, security and disaster planning
  5. Issues related to access, reference, and outreach.

Weekly Schedule
Subject to Revision

Week 1: Course Introduction, Overview

Week 2: Introduction to Archives & Manuscripts

Week 3: Conducting a Survey, Starting an Archival Program

Week 4: Selection and Appraisal

Week 5: Acquisition and Accessioning

Week 6: Arrangement

Week 7: Description

Week 8: Preservation

Week 9: Spring Break

Week 10: Security andDisaster Planning

Week 11: Access, Reference, Outreach

Week 12: Digital Records

Week 13: Audiovisual

Week 14: Management

Week 15: Archival Profession

Week 16: Final Paper

Course Requirements

  1. Two article evaluations (5 points each)

  2. Midterm Annotated Bibliography (20 points)

  3. Final Paper on an approved topic (50 points)

  4. Class Participation (20 points)
    • Students are expected to read the online material and required texts and to participate in discussion board postings and chats.
    • Students are expected to attend each chat for the entire time of the session. All absences from chats will be recorded. Points will be deducted from the final grade for missed chats or failure to post to the Discussion Board.



Course Policies

Students are responsible for reading syllabus content and becoming familiar with course policies and procedures.

Incomplete (I) grade may be granted upon request to those with extenuating circumstances. A student who receives an Incomplete will have only ONE semester in which to complete the work before the Incomplete turns automatically into an F.

If a student stops attending class and does not complete the appropriate withdrawal papers or procedures with the registrar, that student will be assigned an F. If this is the only class a student is taking then the student must call the USM graduate school to properly withdraw.

If a student commits plagiarism, that student will receive an F in the course.

A student may not self-plagiarize or submit work done in another course unless receiving prior permission from the instructor. Any assignment that is self plagiarized without prior permission from the instructor will receive zero points.

Virtual classroom attendance and participation is expected. Participation is a large part of the grade and consists of the virtual classroom participation and discussion.

Students are required to subscribe to listnews, the LIS listserv. Subscribe to lisnews by completing the online form available at

All assignments should be saved in .doc, .docx or .rtf format and emailed to the professor. Work not turned in on time will be assessed a penalty of 10% per week without prior approval from the instructor.

Failure to follow specific instructions for content and formatting of assignments will result in lower grades.

Writing skills: All work must be in Standard English; inappropriate grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling will result in lower grades.

Academic Code of Conduct

Students are expected to follow the Academic Code of Conduct, which includes mutual respect and academic honesty.

"When cheating is discovered, the faculty member may give the student an F on the work involved or in the course. If further disciplinary action is deemed appropriate, the student should be reported to the dean of students. In addition to being a violation of academic honesty, cheating violates the Code of Student Conduct and may be grounds for probation, suspension, and/or expulsion. Students on disciplinary suspension may not enroll in any courses offered by The University of Southern Mississippi." USM Graduate Bulletin, p. 37.

"Plagiarism is scholarly theft, and it is defined as the unacknowledged use of secondary sources. More specifically, any written or oral presentation in which the writer or speaker does not distinguish clearly between original and borrowed material constitutes plagiarism. Because students, as scholars, must make frequent use of the concepts and facts developed by other scholars, plagiarism is not the mere use of another's facts and ideas. However, it is plagiarism when students present the work of other scholars as if it were their own work. Plagiarism is committed in a number of ways:

  1. Reproducing another author's writing as if it were one's own.
  2. Paraphrasing another author's work without citing the original.
  3. Borrowing from another author's ideas, even though those ideas are reworded, without giving credit.
  4. Copying another author's organization without giving credit.
Plagiarism is a serious offense. An act of plagiarism may lead to a failing grade on the paper and in the course, as well as sanctions that may be imposed by the student judicial system." USM Graduate Bulletin, p. 37.

Disability Statement

If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. Mailing address: 118 College Drive, # 8586; Telephone: 601- 266-5024; TTY: 601-266-6837; FAX: 601-266-6035.

Note: This is an abbreviated version of the course syllabus.
The complete syllabus is posted on the Blackboard LIS646 course site.

Web Page Design
Teresa S. Welsh
Updated 11/07/2012