ARST 517 (3) History of Record Keeping


MLIS students: Completion of the MLIS Core courses, plus permission of the instructor

MAS and Dual students: Completion of the “Term 1” MAS Core courses

GOAL: The goal of this course is to provide students with an historical foundation for understanding and analyzing contemporary record-keeping practices.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of purposes and methods of generating, maintaining, and preserving records in the context of different historical periods, traditions, and juridical systems. [1.4, 2.1]*
  • Demonstrate critical appreciation of factors influencing record-keeping practices in different societies at different times. [1.4, 2.1, 4.1]*

* Course objectives are stated in terms of student learning outcomes and reference the iSchool Statement on Graduate Competencies.


  • The preservation of records as evidence and memory from antiquity to the present.
  • Specific methods associated with creating, handling, and preserving records from antiquity to the present.
  • The juridical and cultural factors influencing record keeping practices in different historical periods and in different juridical systems.
  • Continuities and discontinuities in record-keeping practices associated with different historical periods and different juridical systems.
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