Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Archival Inheritance
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 Hours. 10 x 1 hour lectrures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 Hours. 10 x 1 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Analysis of selected archival material.  Analysis and assessment of its evidential and/or cultural value - weighted 30%. 
Semester Assessment Evaluative report of 1,500 words - weighted 40% 
Semester Assessment Essay of 1,500 words - weighted 30% 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Outline the history of the collection, use and management of archives in the UK and

* Discuss the nature of archives and explain their value to present society

* Evaluate selected archival documents

* Explain the difference between primary and secondary sources

* Locate archival sources through familiarity with the pattern of archive keeping in the UK

* Describe the functions of an archive service and the work of a professional archivist

Brief description

The module focuses in the first instance on the history of the UK'r 'rrchival inheritance? and its unique range. The nature of archives ? as evidence of past and actions and decisions, as the 'ration'r memory? and as a part of the cultural heritage ? is then considered. Students will be encouraged to locate, analyze, and evaluate a range of archival sources. In this way they will become aware of the issues which are connected with the use of primary sources, and the distinctions between primary ad secondary sources.


This module will provide a introduction to the range and nature of archival sources which are to be encountered in the UK and will also introduce to students the principles of the discipline of Archive Administration. It is an essential area of study for students pursuing the Historical and Archival Studies degree scheme, but it will be a relevant module also for any student with an interest in the documentary heritage of the UK.


This module will include:

  • A historical review of the collection, use and management of the United Kingdom'r archival inheritance and the establishment of major national repositories and institutions
  • An overview of the nature and extent of the united Kingdoms? archival inheritance
  • An examination of the importance of archives as 'rrimary sources? do evidence, and comparison of the use of primary and secondary sources
  • An examination of the current significance of archives to society
  • The current pattern of archive keeping in the UK
  • The role and work of an archivist
  • The functions of an archive service

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Effective oral communication will be required in seminars and written skills and style will be tested through assignment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Informal feedback on seminar work and formal feedback on assignments will facilitate student development.
Information Technology Searching and use of appropriate web sites is a significant component of this module.
Personal Development and Career planning This module has been developed for students who have an interest in archives and the archive profession and who may consider a future career in this area.
Problem solving The assignments and seminar work require consideration of the problems associated with the use of primary sources.
Research skills Students will need to use research skills to locate archival material and on occasions to provide a context for this material.
Subject Specific Skills Basic skills in the location and use of archival sources.
Team work Some collaborative work will be required as part of preparation for seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 4