Computing Foundations

Fall 2017 Syllabus

In this course, we will begin to break into the "black box" of the computer. The LIS field demands professionals who are competent in computing and comfortable working with digital platforms and tools. Computing is more than simply sending email, building webpages, and creating documents. In this course, we will utilize the Raspberry Pi to fully explore hardware, software, and the tool that we call the computer. As a survey course, we cannot possibly address every technology that you will encounter in your practice. Instead, the goal of this course is to provide you with an opportunity to explore various aspects of computing and to critically engage with hardware and software.

Archives and Media

This course will introduce collection building from an archival perspective, with a focus on the various media formats preserved by collecting institutions. Media will be explored from a cross-disciplinary perspective, interrogating the histories, technologies, preservation practices, use, and curation of media across disciplines. Over the course of the term, we will explore the material nature of records, their social and historical context, as well as the considerations for using these materials in research, and begin to answer questions such as: How do we "read" these various forms of media?; How does the medium affect the message?; How are archives constructed?; What decisions must be made in building and representing collections?; and How are these decisions reflected in the final product - the archives or the DH project?.

Digital Environments

Digital environments engage a host of actors, from digital tools and machines (harddisks, software applications, computing interfaces) to the people who design and use these technologies. This course will survey the various material, technological, spatial, and cultural influences on digital environments. Over the course of the term, students will gain an understanding of digital culture from and interdisciplinary point of view through the review and reflection on theoretical and historical texts and the examination of case studies from various contexts.

Digital Preservation and Stewardship

This course will provide an introduction to the concepts, theories, and practices related to the preservation and continued stewardship of born-digital and digitized materials. Taught from an archival perspective this course will focus on the current methods of collection, maintenance, and access to digital collections in libraries, archives, and museums.