Special Collections Certificate Planning Tools

Plan of study

Course Schedule Fall 22-Spring 25

Course rotation form to help you see the courses we are offering and when for the next 3 years

If you are interested in the Special Collections Certificate, contact your advisor to work out a plan of study, and submit the plan of study form to Katie McCullough (katie-mccullough@uiowa.edu).

Required Courses - 9 s.h.

SLIS:5630 - Introduction to Special Collections
Introduction to history of collecting in special collections and key areas of praxis (e.g., appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation, reference and access, outreach).

SLIS: 6350 - Archives: Theory and Practice
This course will explore the history of archival thought and address conceptualizations of “the archives,” how archives are formed, the methods by which records are selected and described, and the ways in which archival records are used to construct histories. We will explore how value is assigned to records through archival appraisal, how archivists prepare collections for access, and how these materials are represented in archival finding aids and other discovery tools. The course assignments are practice-based, providing opportunities for students to engage with local archival collections.

**Choose one of the following:

SLIS:5530 - Topics in Preservation
Care, conservation, and preservation of cultural heritage artifacts; readings, discussion, hands-on sessions.

SLIS:6145 - Digital Preservation and Stewardship
This course will introduce the concepts, theories, and practices related to the preservation and continued stewardship of born-digital and digitized materials.

Elective Courses 6 s.h. - choose two of the following approved electives


SLIS:4920 - The Transition from Manuscript to Print (3 s.h.)
History of the book and communication in Europe 1400-1800; production, distribution, and use of texts in cultural context. Same as HIST:4920, UICB:4920.

SLIS:5535/UICB:5520 - Book Conservation
Practical methods, materials assessment, conservation history and evolution.

SLIS: 5600/UICB:5600 - Reading Culture History & Research in Media
Cultural nature of reading practices in historic and contemporary contexts; print and digital culture; reading communities; examples of recent scholarship; use of primary resources; seminar.

SLIS:6255 - Rare Books Cataloging
Application of cataloging standards to rare books and other special collections materials; hands-on cataloging of rare books and visits to local collections; critical skills and confidence necessary to begin cataloging rare, special, and unusual books using accepted standards from the field; for students interested in archives and special collections librarianship.

SLIS:6335 - Public Services for Special Collections and Archive (3 s.h.)
A focused examination of core services in special collections and archives including reference, instruction, and outreach. Including reading room services and policies, a deeper examination of research strategies and tools for answering reference questions, best practices for in-person and virtual teaching with primary sources, as well as community outreach, events, exhibitions, and social media.

SLIS:6411 - Topics: Humanities Librarianship: Inquiry, Learning, Knowledge (3 s.h.)
The processes and resources that humanities students and scholars use to find information and create knowledge are considered in the context of larger cultural forces that shape inquiry and the library and university resources that support scholarly communication. For students in SLIS and humanities disciplines interested in humanities subject librarianship, special collections, and humanities-centered archives.

SLIS:6520 - Practicum in Libraries and Information Centers (3 s.h.)
Supervised field experience in selected libraries and information centers; emphasis on application of theory to practice; at least 120 hours of fieldwork.

UICB:4210 - Boxes and Enclosures (3 s.h.) (On Campus only)
For UICB students, this course counts toward the Studio Practice area.

SLIS:4920/UICB:4920 - Transition from Manuscript to Print (3 s.h.) (On Campus only)
History of the book and communication in Europe 1400-1800; production, distribution, and use of texts in cultural context.

UICB:4930 - Topics in Material Analysis (3 s.h.) (On Campus only)
Analysis and description of physical book artifacts and their component parts (parchment, paper, bookbinding) and allied specialties (the lettering arts, printing and illustration techniques); reading, writing, presentations.

MUSM:3200 - Collection Care and Management (3 s.h.)
As an introduction to the principles of collection management, the course relates management policies to the administrative, legal, and ethical obligations a museum has to its collections. Topics for discussion include acquisitions, deaccessions, collection use, data standards, documentation, preventive conservation, risk assessment and disaster planning.

MUSM:4200 - Advanced Collections Care/Museum Object Preservation (3 s.h.)
This course will provide detailed study of specific types of museum objects, their materials, and care. Topics include the care, storage, and preservation of paper, books, photographs, works of art, electronic media, textiles, furniture, archaeological artifacts, and natural history specimens.