Archiving, Museology and Digitisation of Historical Heritage
Field of Study: historical sciences
The present is also known as the information age, and digitisation has become part of the way we learn about history. In the first year of study you will be introduced to the basics of both Archiving and Museology, and from the second year you can choose either the Archiving module or the Museology module. Both modules include common courses focusing on the use of digital technologies in exploring the past.
The Archiving module – graduate archivists are prepared to process and access data from an ever-growing range of historical (especially written) sources. Unlike the conventional study of history, where theoretical knowledge predominates, our students learn directly how to read historical writings (ancient inscriptions, medieval charters, baroque letters or official books). They acquire the widest set of knowledge in Slovakia in the auxiliary historical sciences – thanks to heraldry, they learn about the development of coats-of-arms; with the help of sphragistics, they read and interpret seals; thanks to numismatics they understand the development of means of payment, and in genealogy they learn the practical making of family trees, etc. The study is flexible and even in the Archiving module they can proceed and specialise in older sources (and then work in memory institutions), or they can focus on contemporary written material (and then work in the registries of commercial companies or public organisations).
The Museology module – graduates are prepared to work in museums, galleries, memory institutions and offices associated with the preservation and management of cultural heritage (professional conservation and management, presentation, promotion). They will acquire basic knowledge of the history of Slovakia and museology, the history of heritage protection as well as the theory of the field and relevant legislation. Within the theoretical and practical subjects they will get acquainted with the creation of museum collections, thesauri and registration processes. They will get to know specific historical (especially material) sources. They will gain theoretical and practical experience in modern trends and methods of museum communication (e.g. exhibition activity and the use of modern technologies and interactive elements in museum practice). The study is flexible and allows for specialisation in the field.
The Archiving, Museology and Digitisation of Historical Heritage study programme is guaranteed by internationally renowned experts, is unique in Slovakia and offers two degrees of study – Bachelor (3 years) and Master (2 years). After completing the university study, the graduate can continue on to the external (5 years) or full-time (4 years) doctoral study in the Slovak History study programme. The study is in both modules practically oriented. Therefore, it also includes work experience, which students complete annually in an archive, museum or similar memory institution in Slovakia or abroad (good contacts especially with Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary).
CONTENT OF STUDY
Study in the ARCHIVING module prepares students at the first level of study (Bachelor’s degree) especially for work with older written material (medieval and early modern documents). Courses are divided into 3 basic groups:
1) Auxiliary Historical Sciences (basic subjects that enable students to read and critically evaluate written historical sources) – e.g. diplomatics (official documents), codicology (book texts), epigraphy (historical inscriptions), palaeography (historical scripts), chronology (historical methods of measuring time), heraldry and sphragistics (coats-of-arms and seals), genealogy (family relationships), metrology (historical measurements), historical geography and topography, and others,
2) Archiving (history of archives, basics of archival theory and practice, introduction to the preservation and conservation of archival documents, basics of records management),
3) History of Administration (principles of the functioning of historical societies, competences of individual representatives of power – with specialisation on the territory of Slovakia).
Study in the MUSEOLOGY module at the first level of study (Bachelor’s degree) introduces students to the museum phenomenon, material sources, the processes of storing and museum communication. The courses are divided into 3 basic groups:
1) Introduction to the study (history of museology and monument protection in the world and in Slovakia; current network and organisation of Slovak museology; current legislation, collection and scientific research activities of museums; registration of collections; digitisation of collections and the use of modern technologies in the processing of collections; basics of conservation and restoration of collections),
2) Memory institutions (institutional anchoring of museums and other memory institutions within Slovak culture, familiarisation with individual museum activities within applied museology/museography),
3) Museum communication (exhibitions, museum pedagogy, use of modern communication technologies and interactive elements).
Both modules have COMMON COURSES in 3 other areas:
4) History (subjects from Slovak and general history in a smaller scope compared to the study programme History),
5) Digital historical subjects (basic info-systems currently used for archives and museums, interesting visualisation of historical data obtained from sources),
6) Foreign languages (without knowledge of languages it is impossible to understand historical texts; therefore, we offer Latin as the language of older sources and German or Hungarian not only as the language of more recent writings but also as living languages that increase the employability of graduates abroad).
Students can compile part of the study programme in both modules themselves, according to their own interest, from courses offered by our faculty or university (electives). One semester of the study can be taken at partner universities abroad. The complete study programme is available on the department’s website.
Prerequisites for Study and Entrance Examinations
The study programme is suitable for all those interested in history and historical sources, as well as their practical use for contemporary society. Unlike the typical historian, students of the Archiving module will also learn how to manage contemporary ‘living’ documents and may also be able to work in the registry of businesses, banks, ministries or other large organisations. In the Museology module, they are given a greater perspective on working with three-dimensional (and more recent) sources.
Applicants are admitted to the study programme on the basis of a general aptitude test in the framework of the National Comparative Exam, which is provided by www.scio.cz, s. r. o. Applicants who participated in the national or regional round of the History Olympiad and placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd will be admitted without the need to take the general aptitude test.
Graduates can work in public or private archives, registries of larger companies, information departments of state, public, private organisations, memory institutions (museums, galleries, libraries). Both modules also create prerequisites for employment in an academic environment (universities, academy). Many graduates work in administrative and managerial positions in the state sphere (e.g. foreign embassies) as well as in the public and private spheres (e.g. editorial offices, publishing houses). Thanks to genealogy and heraldry, it is also possible to practice as a private genealogist (e.g. for foreign clientele). As currently there is a huge amount of funding from both national and European sources for the digitisation of historical heritage and its accessibility to the public, our graduates will be ideal employees for such large European or national projects. We prepare our students for their jobs during their study with work experience in archives and museums both at home and abroad. The student will thus get acquainted with potential domestic or foreign employers right after the first year.