Course Introduction

Course Objectives

Graduate Course in Archival Science is the first substantial post-graduate course in Japan that aims to provide opportunities for research in archival science and training for the archival profession (archivists).

Archival science is a division of information resource science that aims to effectively utilize information from various documents, records, and so forth. Those resources include from ancient manuscripts to present electronic records which have been and still are created through social, economic and cultural activities of humans. Archival systems are those used by administrative and corporate organizations to utilize and preserve their records as information resources, and archivists are the professionals responsible for the management of these systems. Modern archival systems in the West date back to the 18th century, and with the globally rapid advancement of computerization, these systems have penetrated into most countries and regions as foundational systems that support a democratic information society. Archivists are no longer simply custodians of old historical documents but are now internationally recognized high-level information professionals responsible for the construction and development of modern archival systems.

Despite boasting of both long history and advanced information technology of today, Japan is well behind in constructing archival systems and educating professional archivists compared to other countries. Now, however, many organizations from national/local governments to business companies are strongly expected to have their own archival systems and archivists so that they can effectively utilize their informational resources for themselves and open them to public in order to comply with accountability to society.

Based on the understanding of the present archival conditions in Japan as such, the aims of the course are twofold. The one is to establish archival science unique to Japan, which underpins various practices in archives. The other aim is to educate professional archivists who have broad international perspective and high level academic ability and are eager to tackle local issues at the same time. Our motto is "eyes on the world, feet on the ground."

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