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DIS Centenary

Our Department is celebrating 100 years since our foundation as the first British School of Librarianship! Throughout the decades we have offered professionally grounded education, based on some fundamental principles, our history, the context and evaluation of information, whilst also focusing more recently on developments in digital technology. We are the only department in the UK which brings together the unique portfolio of programmes in library and information studies, information science, archives and records management, publishing and digital humanities.

DIS away day 2019

Friday 19th March 2021 - Centenary Exhibition and Launch event

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DIS Centenary Public Lectures 2020-21

Jenkinson Lecture 2021

We are delighted to welcome Dr Laura Millar to deliver the 2021 Jenkinson Lecture. The event will be delivered remotely on Thursday 15 April 2021 at 17.00-18.30 BST. Bookings will open soon. 

Just, Temperate, and Brave: The Importance of Evidence – and Evidence Keepers – in Chaotic Times

2020 and 2021 have been marked by chaos, disorder, and despair: from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, to the violent insurrection in January 2021 on the United States Capitol, to protests against autocratic and dictatorial regimes from Myanmar to Russia to China. These events have also demonstrated the critical importance of records, archives, data, and other sources of recorded proof: as tools to uphold justice and fight tyranny and oppression. In this year’s Jenkinson Lecture, Dr Millar will draw on the issues addressed in her 2019 book A Matter of Facts: the Value of Evidence in an Information Age, to argue that evidence serves not only as a bulwark against alternative facts, fake news, and outright lies but also as an essential foundation for justice, reconciliation, democracy, and peace. She will also argue that records and archives professionals must uphold their ethical obligations as trusted and trustworthy guardians, so that the documentary record, whatever its form, may serve as the standard against which “the conditions of human life” may be tested.

Dr Millar is an independent consultant and scholar in records, archives, and information management, based in Vancouver, Canada, an alumna of UCL and an Honorary Research Fellow in DIS. She has consulted with governments, universities, professional associations, and other agencies around the world and is the author of several award-winning publications. She has taught in several universities in Canada and internationally.

2019 – 2020 marked the centenary of UCL Department of Information Studies. To celebrate the creation of the first School of Librarianship in the UK, the Honorary Research Fellow and Curator Dr Alda Terracciano worked in collaboration with members of staff, students and alumni to create an exhibition on the history of the department and the role that teaching and research has played in the creation of an international, professional workforce over the past decades.

This launch event took online and will include presentations by the Dean of Arts and Humanities, Professor Stella Bruzzi, and the Head of the Department, Professor Elizabeth Shepherd, a short introduction and virtual tour of the exhibition with the exhibition Curator, Dr Alda Terracciano, and conversations with project participants, including alumni and students.

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During the centenary year, the curator explored archive material held at UCL Special Collections and the British Library and led a group of 11 students in a series of oral history sessions with former members of staff and alumni to explore key issues faced by information professionals in their jobs, including records management and publishing, engagement of different communities of practice, development of digital humanities, and uses of artificial intelligence, to mention just a few. Due to Covid-19 disruptions the exhibition has now been re-designed for the digital space and these areas of critical enquiry have been situated alongside historical documents in a 3D online environment to facilitate the dialogical dimension of the exhibition and link the past to the present in interactive ways.

The UCL Publishers’ Prize, an annual creative writing competition organised by a team of MA Publishing students, was in its sixth year as the Centenary approached. To celebrate this, the anniversary edition was focused around a theme close to book lovers’ hearts – libraries and book spaces. Unfortunately, the events of the global pandemic have delayed its release. This evening Daniel Boswell, former MA Publishing Programme Director and Prize Convenor, will introduce and reflect briefly on the production and finalisation of the Prize and its role in the Department of Information Studies’ Centenary celebrations.

The UCL Department of Information Studies is an international centre for knowledge creation and transfer in the fields of librarianship, archives and records management, publishing, information science and digital humanities. We are the only department in the UK which brings together in one place programmes in library and information studies, information science, archives and records management, publishing, and digital humanities.

Banner image - DIS Centenary exhibition