History, MA (Archives Track)
Who Are Archivists?
Archivists acquire, manage, preserve, and provide access to historical records of all kinds. They work with individuals, groups, institutions, companies, and governments to preserve and retrieve materials with historical value. They help groups and organizations rediscover their past, assist communities in documenting their cultures, and serve citizens searching for family and personal histories.
Today, archivists collaborate with other professionals to utilize digital technologies and other media to maximize access to important historical resources. The archives track and certificate in archives prepare students to enter this exciting information-age field.
Why Archives at UMass Boston?
UMass Boston is an ideal choice for graduate students preparing for careers as archivists and public historians because of its urban mission; its close ties with libraries, collections, and public history institutions; and its faculty’s interest in civic engagement. The archives track and the certificate in archives are designed to prepare students for careers in archives management, and in a variety of public history settings such as museums, historical parks, and historical societies.
History and Archives MA or Graduate-Level Certificate in Archives
The Department of History offers both an archives track in its History MA program and a graduate-level certificate in archives. Both programs introduce students to traditional archival commitments to careful preservation of and efficient access to information, and also prepare them for active engagement with digital technologies and new skills for capturing documentation.
Our graduate students in the archives and public history tracks also benefit from cross-disciplinary approach that allows them to take one or more courses in the other track. Proficiency in these related fields contributes significantly to professional expertise.
Historical Thinking and Methodology
The archives track at UMass Boston prepares students by first giving them a firm foundation as historians with deep skills in historical research and scholarly analysis. Students also bring these skills to their work in archives, and in evaluating the history they encounter in the public realm. Students are introduced to the best practices in archives—in the classroom and in field experience.
In addition to the department’s offerings in archives and public history classes, archives students also undertake a semester-long internship at a professional archive, working under the supervision of professionals in the field and gaining practical experience.
Department-sponsored field trips, symposiums and roundtable events provide more opportunities to engage in thinking and discussion of issues and topics of concern to the archives and public history communities and to meet and network with professional practitioners.