MARA 284 Course Information

Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Topics: Advocacy and the Professional Image of Archivists in Popular Culture (1 unit)
Course Information

Joshua Zimmerman

Course Information

This course introduces students to the various popular image(s) of archivists and archives as viewed by those both inside and outside the profession. Issues such as advocacy, outreach, societal value, labor, community archives, and professionalization will be explored through discussions, exercises, and readings from professional literature and popular culture.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Competently and concisely articulate and explain the value of archivists and archives to resource allocators and the public at large.
  2. Understand the historical and technological developments that have shaped the public perception of archivists and archives throughout time and location.
  3. Analyze modern portrayals of archivists and archives in popular culture.
  4. Outline ways to change harmful or negative public portrayals.

MARA Core Competencies


  • A. Articulate the ethics, values, and foundational principles of archives and records management professionals and appreciate the important role record keepers play in social memory and organizational accountability.
  • B. Recognize the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of records, recordkeeping, and records use.
  • J. Identify ways in which archivists and records managers can contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well being of our global communities.