Technology of Electronic Records and Digital Libraries

Current faculty: Jacob Nadal

Description: This course will teach students to think like a computer through immersion into the history of computer technologies that have accumulated in archives from the mid-twentieth century to the present. The intended audience includes archivists and librarians working with electronic records and analog-to-digital conversion, as well as curators interested in technology and new media. Students who complete this course will benefit from an improved level of IT literacy and comprehension of how electronic records and computer systems function. This knowledge will support several frameworks for distinguishing between legacy media and technologies, deprecated or obsolescent systems, and sustainable digital architecture. Through this course, we will develop a technology literacy that is intended to mirror the curatorial approaches used in other areas of library and archival practice. Participants will gain a broad historical perspective on the technologies that led to and support contemporary digital libraries and they will learn the characteristics of earlier technologies that can be found in historical electronic records collections. From this background, the class will learn to distinguish critical needs and appropriate approaches for the management and interpretation of digital collections.

Years taught: 2012