Course:1: Archives and Archivists
Lesson:Welcome to Archives and Archivists!
Topic:Who Should Take This Course?


Who Should Take This Course? 


These five courses are designed to give organizations and individuals that are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core functions of managing and protecting historical records collections and to using appropriate principles and best practices.

Perhaps you are a museum curator who needs archival skills, or a librarian in charge of archival special collections, or a volunteer for a historical society, or a town employee who oversees historical government records.

Your organization may be a non-profit, for-profit, public or private organization. You may be a volunteer or a paid employee.

No matter what your circumstances, organizations that hold historical records should have a historical records program in place. Your program should preserve the historical records in your care and assist people using these records. The goal of this online learning experience is to provide you, as a caretaker of historical records, with the knowledge and tools to implement these basic requirements.

If you are already working in or with a historical records program, you may need to spend more time on particular parts of the courses where your program needs more work. For example you may have a decent building, but you really need to develop a good acquisition policy. Or you may need to focus first on the way to describe and provide access to historical records. Or you may need to rethink a lot of what has been done in the past. As you work your way through these courses we encourage you to spend your time where you need it most! Your own unique needs and circumstances will help you decide how to make this course work best for you.

However, everyone should consider using the courses to conduct thorough self-study and assessment to help plan and take appropriate actions to strengthen your historical records program. Developing a strong historical records program requires time, energy, resources, commitment, and, often, patience. But it's well worth the effort! You can make a difference in what we can know in the future!

People collage

Josephine County Historical Society building
"Open to the public for a small user fee (free to members), the Research Library has a collection of books, manuscripts, family histories, maps, clippings and photographs on the history of Josephine County and Southern Oregon."

Definition icon

Preservation: Practices and procedures to ensure the safety and security of historical records at all times. 

Historical Records Program:
A program within an organization that meets some basic requirements in order to ensure the preservation of the historical records that are in its care.