Educating for Digital Archiving through Studio Pedagogy, Sequential Case Studies, and Reflective Practice

  • Patricia Galloway


Since 2001 the author has been teaching a graduate course in digital archiving at the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin, as part of a suite of courses on digital archives and recordkeeping, embedded in larger programs of archival studies and preservation studies. This essay outlines the development of this course over time in order to describe the emergence of an approach to digital archiving teaching through active and reflective digital archiving practice, in the context of a laboratory environment including a functional digital repository. There are three major aspects to this approach: 1) a pedagogical method to support students in active learning through carrying out real archiving projects (reflective practice in a mixed skills team setting); 2) a practice aimed at providing experience in testing, developing, and improving preservation methods over time in the context of a working repository (sequential case studies); and 3) a means for understanding and accounting for the evolution of the preservation infrastructure itself over time (the seed/evolve/reseed model). Finally, major elements of course content include the history of both computing and preservation research, methods and resources for researching technology, and methods for assuring the long-term preservation of authentic digital objects.


Depuis 2001, l’auteure donne un cours de deuxième cycle en archivage numérique à la School of Information de la University of Texas à Austin. Ce cours fait partie d’une suite de cours en archives numériques et en gestion de l’information qui s’insère dans les programmes en études archivistiques et en conservation. Ce texte trace les grandes lignes du développement de ce cours dans le but de décrire l’émergence d’une approche basée sur la pratique active et réflexive pour enseigner l’archivage numérique, et ce dans le contexte d’un environnement de laboratoire qui comprend un dépôt numérique fonctionnel. Trois aspects majeurs se dégagent de cette approche : 1) une méthode pédagogique qui appuie les étudiants dans leur apprentissage actif en leur permettant de compléter des projets archivistiques réels (la pratique réflexive dans le cadre d’une équipe à compétences variées); 2) une pratique qui vise à fournir une expérience en évaluation, en développement et en amélioration des méthodes de conservation dans le contexte d’un dépôt fonctionnel (des études de cas séquentiels); 3) le moyen de comprendre et de prendre en ligne de compte l’évolution même d’une infrastructure de conservation dans le temps (le modèle Seed-Evolve-Reseed). Enfin, les éléments primordiaux du contenu du cours comprennent l’histoire de l’informatique et de la recherche en matière de conservation, les méthodes et ressources pour la technologie de recherche, ainsi que les méthodes pour assurer la conservation à longterme des objets numériques authentiques.

Author Biography

Patricia Galloway

Patricia Galloway joined the archival program of the School of Information, University of Texas at Austin in 2000, where she is now Associate Professor. She teaches courses in digital archives, archival appraisal, and historical museums. From 1979 to 2000 she worked at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, where she was an editor, historian, museum exhibit developer, and manager of archival information systems, and from 1997 to 2000 directed an NHPRC-funded project to create an electronic records program for Mississippi. Her academic qualifications include a BA in French from Millsaps College (1966); MA (1968) and PhD (1973) in Comparative Literature and PhD in Anthropology (2004), all from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was an archaeologist in Europe in the 1970s and supported what was then called humanities computing in the University of London (1977–1979). She was a member of the Continuing Education and Professional Development Committee of the Society of American Archivists (2005–2009), and is presently on the Executive Board of the Society of Southwest Archivists. Her recent publications include a book of essays, Practicing Ethnohistory (2006), an article on “Digital Archiving” in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (2009), and articles in American Archivist, D-Lib, and Library Trends.

How to Cite
Galloway, Patricia. 2011. “Educating for Digital Archiving through Studio Pedagogy, Sequential Case Studies, and Reflective Practice”. Archivaria 72 (December), 169-96.