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Unpublished Paper
Learning Archives: Archival Practice within the Context of Pedagogical Settings
Southern Archivists Conference (2012)
  • Tomaro I. Taylor
  • Chris D'Arpa
  • Jean Carey
The classroom - as place - serves as a physiological and psychological barrier to the practical application of archival theory by contributing to restricted development of professional competencies often expected in archival settings. Functionally, these barriers directly impact students’ self-reliance, affecting independence, agency and the development of the appropriate skill sets needed to survive in an evolving field. As entity, the classroom aids in the infantilization of students by promoting philosophies with limited transferability and impeding students’ confidence in competencies developed through hands-on practice. This counterproductive cultivation of “archival knowledge” is both imbalanced and impractical and leads to the continued reinforcement of skills that are not always applicable in real-life settings. Once students assume roles in the professional workforce, the theoretical aspects of their education are exceedingly overshadowed by the practical; in collaborative working environments, where individuals must accept active roles as top-down thinkers, organizers and doers, this pedagogical dichotomy is especially problematic.

Panelists will consider archival pedagogy within dual contexts, the classroom and the archives, with particular emphasis on practical settings as the critical foundation for archival education. The speakers will represent three perspectives of archival education – student, teacher and practitioner- and discuss the topic from the angles of archives as place, archives as practice. The session will demonstrate that the emerging normative of archival education is problematic and that greater significance must be placed on applied learning models for the profession to thrive.
  • Pedagogy,
  • Archives,
  • Archival practice,
  • Archival education
Publication Date
April 27, 2012
Citation Information
Tomaro I. Taylor, Chris D'Arpa and Jean Carey. "Learning Archives: Archival Practice within the Context of Pedagogical Settings" Southern Archivists Conference (2012)
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