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Basics of Archival Science

Code: 42105 ECTS Credits: 10
Degree Type Year Semester
4312208 Archival and Records Management OB 1 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Irene Brugués Massot

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)


Laura Fortuny Bonet


No pre-requirement is needed.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The purpose of the module is to provide students with a general, but at the same time fundamental and essential knowledge, about Archival Science and Diplomatics. Regarding the first, the content and the methodology should help to clarify the archive-related points of debate and thought as an emerging and consolidated science, such as its subject matter of study, its relations with other sciences, different tendencies and archival schools or terminology.
The module also provides to students Diplomatics, understood as a science that analyzes critically documents and records, evaluates their authenticity and determines their ability to become historical trusted witnesses, on the one hand, and assets of quality information to evaluate the truths of the present, on the other.

L1. Introduction to Archival Science      

  • Introducing the concepts, principles, functions and methodology of archival discipline to serve as bridge of other subjects and facilitating the best understanding of their contents.     
  • Framing the subject of the Master's Degree, presenting the subject and ordering its contents: archival science as an interdisciplinary science, archives, documents, archive systems and centers.     
  • Contributing to clarify the points of debate and thought of archival science and introducing the innovations in this field 

   L2. Diplomatics.

  • Recognizing the most common types of documentary types in any kind of Public Administration or in private production environments.
  • Having a methodology of diplomatic analysis that allows to know in detail a document and all its circumstances.
  • Implementing this methodology through case studies of any historical period, including current events.
  • Providing critical elements and evaluating the authenticity of digital documents in dynamic and uncertain production environments such as digital environments.


  • Argue critically and demonstrate ethical and social commitment to and respect for diversity and multiculturalism.
  • Communicate and justify conclusions clearly and unambiguously to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Communicate knowledge orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of archiving and of its concepts and foundations.
  • Recognise the context of document production.
  • Solve problems in new or little-known situations within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.
  • Update and recycle knowledge through continuous training.
  • Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.
  • Use the terminology of diplomatics and apply the tools offered to medieval, modern and contemporary documents.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and interpret distinct manuscript sources.
  2. Apply archival terminology and concepts.
  3. Apply methods to guarantee the authenticity, reliability and integrity of the documents.
  4. Argue critically and demonstrate ethical and social commitment to and respect for diversity and multiculturalism.
  5. Communicate and justify conclusions clearly and unambiguously to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  6. Communicate knowledge orally and in writing.
  7. Distinguish sources for the study of archiving.
  8. Identify and analyse documentary typologies.
  9. Identify document values, authenticity and integrity.
  10. Identify documentary media.
  11. Recognise and apply the terminology and concepts of diplomatics.
  12. Recognise archival systems.
  13. Recognise the internal and external characteristics of documents.
  14. Solve problems in new or little-known situations within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.
  15. Update and recycle knowledge through continuous training.
  16. Use acquired knowledge as a basis for originality in the application of ideas, often in a research context.


L1. Introduction to Archival Science

1. Archival Science as an interdisciplinary field

2. Archives

3. Records and information

4. Archival Systems

5. Archivistics as a profession

L2. Diplomatics

1. General Diplomatics.

1.1 History of the discipline and current trends (17th - 20th century).

1.2 Diplomatics algorithms: foundations of diplomatics.

1.3 Method of critical analysis of the contextual, formal and essential elements of records.

1.4 Terminology: records, information and data.

2. Archives, Records and Society

2.1 Records leaks or the myth of total accessibility.

2.2 Records in the daily press: how to fight misinformation and fake news.

2.3 Exploitation of quality data, transparency and civic engagement.

2.4 Confidence and authenticity of electronic records in administrations.

2.5 The authentication description or how to strengthen the metadata of records.


The module combines three types of training activities. Interactive classes, led by the teacher but with an active participation by the students. Practical activities, in the form of tasks elaborated by students, and autonomous study of both bibliography and other materials related to the subject.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
L1. Interactive lessons 30 1.2 15, 2, 6, 7, 14, 4, 12, 16
L2. Interactive lessons 15 0.6 15, 1, 3, 6, 10, 9, 8, 14, 5, 4, 13, 11, 16
Type: Supervised      
L1. Practical activities 30 1.2 2, 6, 7, 14, 5, 4, 12, 16
L2. Practical activities 30 1.2 15, 1, 3, 6, 10, 9, 8, 14, 5, 4, 13, 11, 16
Type: Autonomous      
L1. Study of resources and reading of bibliography 33 1.32 15, 2, 7, 4, 12, 16
L2. Study of resources and reading of bibliography 43 1.72 15, 1, 3, 10, 9, 8, 4, 13, 11, 16


The module is based on continued evaluation. If the students do not reach the pass mark, a recovery exam is contemplated for each one of the two formative lines.

To pass the module it is necessary to pass each subject separately.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
L1. Case study and oral presentation 20% 7 0.28 15, 2, 6, 14, 5, 4, 12, 16
L1. Final exam 30% 2 0.08 15, 2, 6, 7, 14, 5, 4, 12, 16
L1. Practical exercises 50% 23 0.92 15, 2, 6, 7, 14, 5, 4, 16
L2. Case study and oral presentation 40% 25 1 1, 3, 6, 10, 9, 8, 14, 5, 4, 13, 11, 16
L2. Final validation test. 40% 2 0.08 3, 6, 9, 14, 5, 4, 13, 11, 16
L2. Practical exercises 20% 10 0.4 3, 6, 8, 14, 5, 13, 11


L1. Introduction to Archival Science

MULLER, S., FEITH, J. A., FRUIN, R. (1898). Handleiding voor het ordenen en beschrijven van Archieven [Manual d’organització i descripció dels arxius]. Groningen: Erven B. Van der Kamp. [Hi ha traduccions a l’alemany (Leipzig, 1905), a l’italià (Torí, 1908 i Milà, 1974), al francès (la Haia, 1910), a l’anglès (Nova York, 1940) i al portuguès (Rio de Janeiro, 1960)]. [Última reedició de l’edició anglesa: Chicago : Society of American Archivists, 2003]

JENKINSON, Hilary (1922). A Manual of Archive Administration. Oxford: Clarendon Press. (2a ed.: London: Percy Lund, Humphries and Co. Ltd., 1965).

CASANOVA, Eugenio (1928). Archivistica. Siena: Stab. Arti Grafiche Lazzeri. (Edició anestàtica, Torino: Bottega d’Erasmo, 1966).

BRENNEKE, Adolf (1953). Archivkunde. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie und Geschichte des Europäischen Archivwesens. Leipzig: Koehler und Amelang. (traducció a l’italià de Renato Perrella, Archivistica. Contributo alla teoria ed alla storia archivistica europea. Milano: Giuffrè, 1968).

SCHELLENBERG, Theodore R. (1956). Modern archives. Principles and techniques. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshic. (Traducció al castellà de Manuel Carrera Stampa, Archivos modernos. Principios y técnicas. La Habana: Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia, 1958).

Manuel d’Archivistique. (1970) Théorie et pratique des Archives publiques en France. Ouvrage élaboré par l’Association des Archivistes Français. Paris: SEVPEN.

ROBERGE, Michel (1983). La gestion des documents administratifs. Québec: Documentor. La Pocatière. (Traducció al català de Miquel Casademont i Donay, La gestió dels documents administratius. Barcelona: Diputació; AAC, 1993) (nova edició, L’essentiel de la gestion documentaire. Québec: Gestar, 2002).

LODOLINI, Elio (1984). Archivistica. Principi e problemi. Milano: Franco Angeli. (6a ed.: 1992) (traducció al castellà de Mercedes Costa Paretas, Archivística. Principios y problemas. Madrid: ANABAD, 1993).

HEREDIA HERRERA, Antonia (1986). Archivística General. Teoría y práctica. Sevilla: Diputación Provincial. (7a ed.: 1995).

ALBERCH I FUGUERAS, Ramon (2002). Elsarxius, entrelamemòriahistòricailasocietatdelconeixement. Barcelona: Pòrtic ; Editorial UOC. (Edició en castellà, Losarchivos, entrelamemoriahistóricaylasociedaddelconocimiento. Barcelona: Editorial UOC, 2003).

CRUZ MUNDET, Jose Ramon (2006). La gestión de documentos en las organizaciones. Madrid: Pirámide.

BETTINGTON, Jackie; EBERHARD, Kim; LOO, Rowena; SMITH, Clive (eds.) (2008). Keepingarchives. 3rd ed. Sydney: Australian Society of Archivists Incorporated.

JIMERSON, Randall C. (2009). Archives Power. Memory, Accountability, and Social Justice. Chicago: Society of American Archivists.

Manual d'arxivística i gestiódocumental (2009). Coordinadores: EmíliaCapelliGarriga, MarionaCorominasiNoguera. Barcelona: Associaciód’ArxiversdeCatalunya.

MILLAR,Laura (2009).Archives:principlesandpractices.London:Facet.

HILL, Jennie (Ed.) (2011). The Future of Archives and Recordkeeping.A reader. London: Facet.

BROWN, C. (ed.) (2014). Archives and recordkeeping : theory into practice, London : Facet Publishing.

DURANTI, Luciana, FRANKS, Patricia C (eds.) (2015). Encyclopedia of Archival Science.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

MACNEILL, Heather, EASTWOOD, Terry (eds) (2017). Currents of Archival Thinking, 2nd Edition. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited.

GILLILAND, Anne J., MCKEMMISH, LAU, Andrew J. (eds) (2017). Research in the Archival Multiverse. Clayton: Monash University Publishing

L2. Diplomatics.

CONEJO, Josep (1998). «Els llibres de comptabilitat municipal dels segles XIX i XX» a Lligall 13. Barcelona: AAC; p. 59-83.

DURANTI, Luciana (1996). Diplomática. Usos nuevos para una antigua ciencia. Sevilla: S&C Ediciones, Carmona; 170p.

ECO, Umberto (1997). Interpretación y sobreinterpretación. Cambridge University Press; 172p.

FERRO, Víctor (1987). El dret públic català. Les institucions a Catalunya fins al Decret de Nova Planta. Vic: Eumo Editorial; 606p.

GRAEBER, David (2015). La utopia de las normes. De la tecnologia, la estupidez y los secretos placeres de la burocracia. Barcelona: Ariel, 253p.

GIMENO, Gloria (2005). «L’ús de la iniciativa privada a l’Administració municipal: segles XIX-XXI», Lligall 24. Barcelona: AAC; p. 121-180.

LOBATO, David (2000). «La documentació electoral del segle XIX als arxius municipals», a Lligall 16. Barcelona: AAC; p. 153-177.

MACNEIL, Heather (2000). Trusting Records. Legal, historical and Diplomatic perspectives. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 163p.

MAYER, Viktor; CUKIER, Kenneth (2013). Big dataLa revolución de los datos masivos. Madrid: Turner Noema, 278p.

PUIG USTRELL, Pere (1995). Els pergamins documentals. Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya, 201p.

PUIG USTRELL, Pere (2008). Los pergaminos. Qué son y cómo se tratan. Gijon: Ed.Trea; 132p.

RIDENER, John (2009). FromPolders to Postmodernism: A Concise History of Archival Theory. Duluth: Litwin Books, 184p.

SENNETT, Richard (2012). Juntos. Rituales, placeres y política de cooperación: Barcelona: Anagrana; 430p.

SOLER, Joan (2009). Del bit al logos. Preservar documents electrònics a l’Administració local. Barcelona: Diputació de Barcelona, estudis, 4; 359p.

SOLER JIMÉNEZ, Joan (2010). «La il·lusió d’un vocabulari comú de la preservació digital» a Lligall 31. Barcelona: AAC; p.14-43.

SOLER JIMÉNEZ, Joan (2011). «Una diplomàtica pels documents en crisi» a Lligall 32. Barcelona: AAC; p. 42-76.

VAS, Juanjo (1994). «Evolució dels impostos municipals», a Lligall 22. Barcelona: AAC; p. 215-259.


There is no specific software needed.