UCL Module Catalogue


Curation and Stewardship (INST0042)

Key information

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Teaching department
Information Studies
Credit value
This module is core and available only to PG Dip/MA Archives and Records Management programme.

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


Curation and Stewardship deals with the issues and activities involved in maintaining authentic and usable records over time and through change. It aims to enable students to build a clear appreciation of the vulnerability of the physical and virtual record, and to develop the knowledge and skills to ensure that such records are maintained and that the risks to them are properly addressed and managed. To this end, students should, by the end of the module, be able to;

  • Explain what is meant by and involved in the preservation and management of records over time
  • Identify and apply the most appropriate standards, strategies and processes to ensure the ongoing preservation of records in a variety of contexts

The module will cover the following topics, which may be subject to variation depending on developments in academic research and the interests of the class:

  • Taking Custody including; collections development, collecting policies, stages in accessioning, interviewing donors, terms of deposit, automated metadata extraction, accessions registers and cataloguing policies.
  • Building the Store including; the key characteristics of paper and parchment, the chemistry of paper, the nature of acid deterioration, security, the use of off-site storage or alternative approaches and building green and sustainable archives.
  • Managing the Store including; the influence of standards on funding for archive buildings, a review of new building examples and consideration of how to address risks such as flood, pollutants, dust and pests, monitoring procedures and the use of packaging as both protection and support.
  • Processing including; the application of the principles of provenance and original order, archival descriptive standards, including ISAD(G), the qualities of good archival description and indexing and vocabulary control.
  • Preservation Planning including; standards, the function and application of benchmarking, disaster planning and emergency response, the use and function of a preservation policy, surrogacy options and digital preservation.

The method of delivery is mixed, involving lectures, class discussion, practical sessions and seminars. There is also a two-week work placement attached to this module, which takes place at the beginning of term 3. The module is assessed by two pieces of coursework, one to be submitted at the beginning of term 2 and the other following the work placement in term 3.

Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 1     Postgraduate (FHEQ Level 7)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Methods of assessment
80% Report (3,200 words)
20% Reflection (800 words)
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Dr Jenny Bunn
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.