Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Archive Collection development and Description
Academic Year
Available all semesters

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2,5000-3,000 words  50%
Semester Assessment Report  2,500-3,000 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

*Identify and appraise the policies and processes required for effective collections development and description;

*Critically assess a range of archival theories relevant to collection development and description;

*Describe and discuss the archival principles which underpin collection development and description;

*Assess the practical application of archival theories and principles for collection development and description;

*Critically review current international and national archival descriptive standards and guidelines, and other relevant standards for finding-aid creation;

*Explain and critically review the functionality required from archive management software and the implications of electronic data exchange;

*Identify and give critical consideration to the challenges and benefits associated with providing Internet access to archive catalogues and/or archival material.

Brief description

This module is concerned with the core professional activities for Archivists of collection development and description. It will enable students to understand the principles which underpin collection development, and the policies and processes required for this to be undertaken in an organised and responsible manner. Students will consider the principles of archival description and the standards and technologies which support the creation of usable finding-aids, and digital surrogates of archival material. Maintaining accessibility to these over the long-term will also be addressed.


Topics to be covered comprise:
• Policy and Process – Developing an Archives Collection
• Collection, and Acquisition
• Accessioning and Appraisal
• Principles of Arrangement
• Description for Resource Discovery
• IT Solutions for Collection Development and Description
• Digitisation for Collection Development
• Ensuring Long-term Access

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Consideration of the specifications required to enable usable computer searching of archival descriptions and linkage to associated digital materials.
Communication A requirement to discuss and collaborate with employers and other professional archivists to define the subject and scope of work assessed in the report.
Improving own Learning and Performance Use of professional sources and documentation will foster student awareness of available learning resources, and improve critical and evaluatory skills.
Information Technology IT skills are integral to coursework and presentation of assignments. Additionally students will gain an understanding of the application of IT to archival description, digitisation and digital preservation.
Personal Development and Career planning The module is undertaken by students already based in the profession. It provides an academic baseline for early professionals and the development of skills within the workplace.
Problem solving Assignment work will utilize professional scenarios in which strategies for dealing with particular issues and problems need to be formulated.
Research skills Assignment preparation will require the identification and location of relevant academic and professional literature, and best practice within the profession.
Subject Specific Skills Professional skills in the theory and practice of acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, archival description, digitisation and digital preservation will be developed.


This module is at CQFW Level 7