Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Archives and Manuscripts : Content and Use
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
DSM3730 DSM3730 was a module on the previous MA Archive Administration course (P192D and D2)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Project - A survey of sources and services  relating to a given area (equivalent to 3,000 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Analysis - A contextual study and documentary  analysis of a chosen record source (equivalent to 3,000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Analysis - A contextual study and documentary  analysis of a chosen record source (equivalent to 3,000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Project - A critical bibliography study  relating to a given area (equivalent to 3,000 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this modules, student should be able to:

  • explain the relationship between creators of records and the records created

* identify and evaluate the factors affecting the survival of records

*evaluate critically the informational value of a range of archival sources etc.

* identify and locate sources which may be used to supply information on specific subjects

Identify, evaluate and use appropriate secondary sources and reference material

Brief description

The module focuses on the range of archives and manuscripts generated by the principal administrative bodies over the centuries, on the uses made of such records in the process of developing national and local history and the role of collectors and custodians in the survival of such material.


The module begins with a survey of the principal administrative structures of government at many levels in Britain and of the Church, identifying principal categories and series of records in terms of context, interpretation and use.

Attention is then turned to the uses of archives and manuscripts over time, considering historical concepts, antiquarianism, publication of texts, manuscript studies and the development of country and local history, in order to develop skill in the use of a wide variety of primary sources and historical writings from early centuries, and in making connections between archives and printed sources and using specialised reference material.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication A wide range of reading of both manuscript and printed material is required, also clear written expression and appropriate academic writing skills. The research element will require oral interaction with practising professionals.
Critical and analytical thinking Students are required to critically analyse and appraise a range of archival and antiquarian sources in this module.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students taking this module are pursuing student-centred learning. They are well motivated and able to manage the learning process. Tutorials and feedback will facilitate continuous development.
Information Technology This module requires sophisticated use of websites, but those who follow this Masters course have excellent IT skills. Use of appropriate software required to create and submit assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is part of a vocational course that leads to a qualification for a particular professional field. Participation represents significant personal development and personal investment. Career planning is assisted by tutors but the direction is already clearly established.
Problem solving The syllabus and the coursework require frequent identification of relevant factors, testing theories and suggesting solutions
Research skills Students will complete individual investigations of original source material and research the context and content. Developing skill in the use of reference sources is essential to the process
Subject Specific Skills High level skill in the location and use of primary sources in manuscript or print and of associated referene material


This module is at CQFW Level 7