From one vantage, those who started their careers decades ago, graduate archival education has made tremendous leaps forward; from another perspective, those in the early years of their careers, education in this field may look spotty, disjointed, and confusing. As I near the end of my career (although old archivists don’t fade away, they get preserved), I have increasingly felt like an archival source in ongoing professional dialogue. In this essay, I briefly consider the evolution of graduate education since the 1970s, the emergence of a new archival professorial corps, the maturing of our field’s professional and scholarly research, and the present characteristics of the archival academy. In this, I reflect as a transitional member of the academy, one who moved from practice to professing, and speculate about what the new generation of archival faculty – younger, less experienced, better educated, and research-driven, face in the next four decades. Examining current trends leads me to speculate about what graduate archival education will look like in 2050, and what I have to say is not what I am wishing for but what will likely occur. By 2050 I will be part of archival memory. What passes for archival education will be digital stewardship, delivered mostly via distance education with on-campus programs fewer in number and those that exist focused on doctoral studies and research, and masters programs mostly technical in nature and spread more broadly across the academy with a much more diverse group of students in terms of academic backgrounds and demographic characteristics.
Cox, Richard J.
"Graduate Archival Education in the United States; A Personal Reflection About Its Past and Future,"
Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 2, Article 3.
Available at: https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/jcas/vol2/iss1/3