University of Pittsburgh
September 7, 1998



PITTSBURGH, Sept. 8 -- The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences (SIS) has received a $25,000 grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation to support a working meeting of graduate archival educators from around the world to discuss crucial issues in educating archivists for the 21st Century.

The gathering, which will be held in August, 1999 and precede the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Pittsburgh, will be organized and coordinated through SIS's Department of Library and Information Science. The first forum of its kind in several years, among the topics to be discussed are:

• Curriculum development efforts to incorporate electronic records and electronic access to primary sources;

• identification of priority areas for future research, job placement and market trends for graduates; and

• how best to strengthen existing graduate-level archival education programs.

"Education for archivists is now seen less as an apprenticeship training for custodians of records, but more as an integration of theoretical and applied knowledge necessary for understanding the conceptual basis for record keeping," said Elizabeth Yakel, a Pitt professor in the Department of Library and Information Science. "Archival educators must understand and work together to improve the current state of archival studies programs."

Prior to the meeting, Yakel and fellow Pitt professor Richard Cox will conduct a first-of-its-kind survey to assess the educational preparation of archival students in the United States.

"The survey and the meeting should have a significant impact on our profession," said Yakel. "Not only will it provide baseline data, but it will identify the most significant research questions and greatest opportunities out there, and help in developing stronger curricula for American archival programs."

According to its mission statement, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation "promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that preserve the resources which transmit this cultural heritage."

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