Why I Chose Simmons College GSLIS: Archives Management/History

I’ve been in somewhat of a self-reflective mood lately, which is convenient since it’s time for my first post on the GSLIS Admissions Blog!  With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I have not had much of an opportunity to step back and think about all that has brought me to Boston and Simmons College.  It’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was in Kirksville, Missouri anxiously waiting to hear back from the handful of library programs I applied to.  I’ll never forget how excited I was the day I got my letter from Simmons College GSLIS.  I’m almost positive this is exactly how I reacted:

Except imagine the inside of an apartment

rather than a beautiful, open field.

What had me most excited about the library program at Simmons College and what ultimately brought me here was the fact that it has such a well-established dual-degree Archives Management/History program.   I knew going into my grad school search that I wanted to pursue an MLS, but I felt my itch to study history had not yet gone away, and I knew continuing my study of history could only add to my competitive edge once I enter the field.  As I was researching the dual-degree program, I especially noticed a course called Archives, History, and Collective Memory, which is required for all dual-degree students.  I haven’t taken this course yet, but the course description alone is enough for me:


Explores the relationship between historical events, the creation and maintenance of archival records, and the construction of collective memory. Analyzes the role of archives and records in the process of documenting and remembering (or forgetting) history. Considers such archival issues as repatriation, records destruction, contested history, and memory construction by focusing on a series of case studies.[1]


To me, this course epitomizes what it is I love about the dual-degree program: it’s fueled by recognition of the integral role archives play in constructing our current ideas of what the past was like, which inform the way we view the present.  I view the history side of my academic experience as my attempt to broaden my thinking and train my mind to view my future role as an archivist as only one piece of a much larger puzzle, a puzzle involving historians and users of all types, the community surrounding my archive, and an overarching collective memory.


Well, that got a little theoretical.  Fair warning: that tends to happen in library school.


Until next week!


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