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Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate Program

Are you challenged by the born-digital records in your institution’s collections?  You’re not alone!

SAA is committed to providing education and training to ensure that archivists adopt appropriate practices for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to electronic records.  That’s why we’ve developed the Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate Program, designed to provide you with the information and tools you need to manage the demands of born-digital records.

The DAS Curriculum, developed by experts in the field of digital archives, is structured in tiers of study that guide you to choose courses based on your specific knowledge, training, and needs. You can choose individual courses—or you can take your learning to the next level by earning a Digital Archives Specialist Certificate from SAA after completing required coursework and passing both course and comprehensive examinations.

The DAS Curriculum is structured in four tiers of study:

  • Foundational Courses focus on the essential skills that archivists need to manage digital archives.  They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of practitioners—archivists who are or will be working directly with electronic records.  These courses present information that an archivist might implement in the next year.
  • Tactical and Strategic Courses focus on the skills that archivists need to make significant changes in their organizations so that they can develop a digital archives and work seriously on managing electronic records.  They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of managers—those archivists who manage other professionals and who oversee programmatic operations.  These courses present information that an archivist might implement in the next five years.
  • Tools and Services Courses focus on specific tools and services that archivists need to use for their work with digital archives.  They are practical courses focused on specific software products and other tools and they focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of practitioner archivists.  These courses present information that an archivist could implement immediately.
  • Transformational Courses focus on the skills that archivists need to change their working lives dramatically and transform their institutions into full-fledged digital archives.  They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of administrators—those archivists with oversight over the entire archival enterprise of an institution.  These courses present information that an archivist might implement over the course of the next ten years.

Each course in the DAS Curriculum is developed with one or more key audiences in mind:

  • The Archivist Practitioner is a hands-on, front-line archivist who manages or will manage electronic records personally.
  • The Archivist Manager is an archivist who has oversight over the work of other professional archivists and who may or may not manage electronic records directly.
  • The Archivist Administrator is an archivist who works in a large archives, who oversees archivist managers, who is responsible for organizational planning, and who does not manage electronic records directly but must ensure the organization’s capacity to do so.

For a Glossary of these and other key audiences, click here.

Course Schedule 

SAA works with many regional associations and roundtables including the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), the  New York Archivists Roundtable (NYART), the  Midwest Archives Conference (MAC), the New England Archivists (NEA), the  Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA), the  Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA),  and the Society of California Archivists (SCA) to schedule a DAS Program cycle in their regions.  

DAS courses may also be requested by individual hosts, much like other SAA continuing education courses. (See SAA's Continuing Education Course Catalog for more information about hosting a course at your institution.) 

Remember: You need not be pursuing a DAS Certificate to take a DAS course!

Examinations

Individual course examinations will be provided online. Instructions about accessing the exam are provided in your pre-course materials. You may choose to test out of Foundational Courses as you pursue a DAS Certificate.  

To order an exam for testing out of or challenging the Foundational Courses visit the SAA Bookstore and search for DAS.

The DAS Certificate comprehensive examinations will be offered at various locations.  Watch this space for more information as we develop plans.