Archive Management: Principles and Techniques

Archives provide a tangible link to the lives and activities of individuals in the past; they enable us to hold governments and organisations accountable for their actions through the evidence they provide; and they form an indispensable part of a community’s heritage.

Records are the basic tools of business or administrative transactions. They are used to justify official actions, to record proceedings, to explain and record policy decisions, and to establish and maintain rights under law for citizens, corporations, and governments. Similarly, individuals generate records and documents every day, for example, when we send and receive emails or letters or when we write diaries. When actively retained for permanent preservation, these records and documents become archives, and they act as the memory of institutions, businesses, governments, and individuals, and they represent an essential research source for historians.

This course provides an overview of the value and nature of archives, the development and mission of archive services, and the practical aspects of caring for archival collections and making them accessible to users. It will be of particular interest to anyone with responsibility for archival material in their collections.


Jennie Hill BA MA MScEcon - Director of Learning and Teaching and lecturer Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University.

Jennie has a wealth of experience working in information and archive posts including:

In addition to modules in archives and recordkeeping, Jennie also teaches rare books and special collections. Her research interests centre on engagement with the past in all its guises, but particularly interdisciplinary engagement with archives, public history and heritage, collecting, and the history of libraries and recordkeeping. Jennie’s publications include:

  • Hill, J. (2010) ed. The Future of Archives and Recordkeeping, Facet
  • Lane, V. and Hill, J. (2010) Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Situating the Archive and Archivists, in Hill, J. ed. The Future of Archives and Recordkeeping, Facet.
  • Hill, J. and Slocombe, W. (2010) No Larkin Around: The Serious Business of Contemporary Literary Archives, Archives: The Journal of the British Records Association, 35(122), 1-10.
  • Co-editor of special issue of Archives on literary archives including contributions from Jamie Andrews, GLAM, Christine Faunch, Jeff Cowton, David McClay and Peter Barry. Archives: The Journal of the British Records Association, 35 (122) April 2010.
  • Hill, J. and Taylor, M. (2009) Taking Off: encouraging deeper learning and cohort identity through dialogic learning, in Gaskill, A. and Mills, R. eds. Supporting Learning in the Digital Age: rethinking inclusion, pedagogy and quality: collected conference papers and abstracts (Cambridge, September 22-25 2009), 222-229.


Students taking this short course should have a keen interest in archives and recordkeeping.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this short course you should be able to:

  • explain the principles of archive administration
  • explore the nature of archives
  • identify and explain the major considerations to be taken into account in planning and designing an archive building
  • discuss archive preservation and conservation management
  • explain principles and use standards for the arrangement and listing of archives
  • review the user services commonly available in archive repositories


To apply please complete the Short Course Application Form

This form should be completed and returned - with your reference - as soon as possible to the Postgraduate Admissions Office: 

For further information, please contact the Department of Information Studies tel: (+/0)1970 622731 / 622189; e-mail: