Museum and Archival Studies


Who visits museums?  How are collections and archives constructed? What social roles do museums and archives play? Students in this pathway will explore the diverse traditions of collection, curation, research, display, and preservation. 

Students in the Museum and Archival Studies Pathway consider the histories, techniques, and challenges common to the diverse traditions of museums and collections, curation, and preservation practices. From small archives to large national collections, difficult dialogues surrounding justice and equity with respect to objects, collections, and accessibility are taking place at greater frequency. The Pathway seeks to promote and support a wide range of voices and to prioritize non-western contexts in decolonizing collections and institution. To this end, courses may also focus on specialized theoretical approaches to address histories of collection, teaching, and display, but also to confront issues of ownership, cultural patrimony, colonialism, and ethics. 

Students who choose this pathway might expect to: 

  • Build on critical understandings of the organization of arts, material culture, and science institutions 
  • Explore controversial aspects of history, culture, and identity 
  • Develop skills in information and collection management 
  • Learn about conservation and preservation techniques 

Careers associated with this pathway include an extraordinary array of disciplinary perspectives in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. They include, but are not limited to:  

  • Archival Science & Ethics, Documentary & Digital Preservation 
  • Library Science & Education 
  • Museum Studies & Curation (including Natural History [from botany to biology and paleontology to zoology]) 
  • Public History 
  • Specialized Collections 
  • Digital Collections & Display 
  • Fine Arts 
  • Museum Education 
  • Museum & Gallery Management 
  • Corporate Collections Management 
  • Art Acquisition and Dealership 
  • Collection/Display Design & Ethics 
  • Cultural Patrimony & the Law 
  • Preservation & Conservation 
  • Archaeological Analyses 
  • Archaeological Ethics