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Simmons College Archiving and Preserving Digital Media course



Simmons College GSLIS




SYLLABUS: Spring 2011 Instructor: Ross Harvey




Ross Harvey can be contacted by email, Skype or telephone. We can also meet if you are in Boston.




Office phone: (617) 521 2699 (time zone: Eastern Standard Time)


Skype name: rharvey5


Office Hours: I can be contacted synchronously (in real time) by telephone or using Skype on Thursdays 12.30-2.30pm and Fridays 11am to 1pm (Eastern Standard Time). If you are not able to fit in with these hours, please email me to set a time that suits you.



To study this course you need:


 A computer connected to the Internet

 A web browser to access the learning management system WebCT Vista at Simmons College

 Administrator rights so you can download and install software on your computer

 If your computer uses an operating system other than Windows, for some of the practical exercises you may need administrator rights to a computer that runs the Windows operating system.


Course web site:

Digital Curriculum Laboratory:

LIS 444 wiki:


This course is fully online and uses WebCT Vista at Simmons College as the system supporting the course. You will need to become familiar with WebCT Vista – some of you probably are already – so an early emphasis in the course is to make sure you can use communication tools and address any technical issues. You will do this by postings on the discussion list and other exercises. For further information about using WebCT Vista, please go to where you will find the instructions “For information about getting started with Simmons eLearning, please consult the "Student Resource Center" located on your course listing page after login.”


In this course it is important you need to actively participate in online discussion, which is assessed. You will also complete for assessment three practical exercises using the Digital Curriculum Laboratory, selected from a range that include exercises on migrating and verifying files, migrating obsolete files, using Xena software, and building a web archive. In addition, you will add digital objects to a class archive and in the process acquire skills relevant to digital curation. You will complete a major assignment. If any of this sounds alarming, please don't be too concerned. These are not difficult skills to acquire. If you are concerned, make sure you contact the instructor as soon as possible.


My aim in this online course is not to write a book about the subject – many words have been written and you will read a selection of them during the course. Rather, it is to provide a scaffold that guides you through the exercises, readings and other online material, posing questions for you to consider as you go and to respond to through discussion list postings. In other words, I'm providing a framework in which you can read, think, discuss, and write about digital curation.


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