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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Archives: History, Geography, Politics (PGGE11134)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryWelcome to this MSc course. This may be taken as part of research training requirements relating to human geography and other relevant courses in the School of GeoSciences, College of Science and Engineering (CSE), or as part of training within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS). Whatever your purpose in being on the course, you're most welcome: the teaching staff are here to help you get the most from the course and to support your research degree.

In this course, we will examine the nature of an archive (as a physical entity and as a collection), the questions of power, authority and responsibility that underlie use of and access to archives, and we will together visit a series of archives/archival holdings to engage in first-hand experience of these matters. It is intended to be of particular benefit to those whose research work, either for a research or a taught MSc, or as part of a research training programme for an MPhil or PhD degree, is likely to involve significant attention to manuscript/written historical sources, to 'archived' material of whatever nature, and to its analysis and interpretation.

Central to the course is a series of archive field visits. At each we will consider the nature of an archive (as a physical entity, a collection, and a responsibility), and the questions of power and authority that underlie use of, and access to, archives as 'knowledge repositories'. These archive field visits will provide you with the basis to the assessment for the course.

The course is taught in a mixture of lectures, tutorials and archive visits. The course will be taught by Professor Charles W. J. Withers in association with archive and library staff within several leading archives and records repositories in the city of Edinburgh.
Course description Weeks 1-2: Lecture
Weeks 3-5: Archive Visits
Weeks 6-11: Tutorial
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  5
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Degree assessment (100%): One 4,000 word essay report due in by mid December December.

Formative assessment: Students presentations
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the management and content of selected archives as research repositories;
  2. Exercise critical judgement in the management of a research problem, with reference to its intellectual content and with insight into the provenance, and archival management of the sources in question;
  3. Demonstrate expertise in the design, implementation and critical examination of specific research questions in relation to archival materials;
  4. Understand the contested nature of archives in different historical, geographical and political contexts;
  5. Present, verbally and in writing, a reasoned argument exploring the theory of the archive as a space for the storage, preservation and management of scholarly materials.
Reading List
Cook, T. 2013 Evidence, memory, identity and community: four shifting archival paradigms, Archival Science 13, 95-120.
Cook, T. 2002 Fashionable nonsense or professional rebirth: postmodernism and the practice of archives. Archivaria 51 14-35.
Cook, T. 2001 Archival sciences and postmodernism: new formulations for old concepts. Archival Science 1, 3-24.
Ketelaar, E. 2001 Tacit narratives: the meaning of archives. Archival Science 1, 131-141
Osborne, T. 1999 The ordinariness of the archive. History of the Human Sciences 12, 51-64

A full list appears in the course handbook
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements The course is also taught as a Year 4 (Senior Honours) Research Elective as part of the MA/BSc Geography Degree Programmes. Whilst most classes and archive visits will be in common, MSc students will have additional tutorials and will be required to present a short summary of their project and its connection to archives to their fellow students. Notably, the assessment details and requirements are different for the Year 4 Research Elective and the MSc students.
KeywordsPGGE11134,Archives,politics,memory,archival research,archival management,history,geography
Course organiserDr Hannah Fitzpatrick
Tel: (0131 6)50 2294
Course secretaryMrs Paula Escobar
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543
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