University of Wisconsin–Madison

Basics of Archives

This course will provide students with practical knowledge and tools for starting an archives or caring for and managing historical records for the first time.  It is intended as an “Archives 101” course for those who are beginning new responsibilities for archives or who have taken on responsibilities for special or local history collections with little or no archival experience or training. The course will emphasize daily operations and policies; arranging, storing, and making historical records accessible; copyright and privacy basics, and challenges and opportunities in establishing a strong archival program or significantly improving existing circumstances while providing excellent service to users.

At a glance

When: Sept 28 – Nov 15, 2020
Where: Online
Cost: $275 (Register 2 weeks early for 10% off)
Credit: 2.4 CEUs/24 LEUs
Program: #305821

Questions? Contact Meredith Lowe or Anna Palmer

Register online

Due to remote work continuing into the Fall, please use the online registration option. If you need alternate arrangements, email Anna Palmer, or Meredith Lowe, Alternate registration options may result in delays.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Login information will be emailed to you a few days before the course begins

Course details


  • Archival Collections Management
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Appraisal
  • Accessioning
  • Arrangement and Description
  • Preservation and Storage
  • Security
  • Outreach and digital media

Related Topics

  • Collection Development
  • Reference
  • Legal and Ethical Issues; Codes of Ethics
  • Supplies and Vendors


The course covers weekly topics through readings, links, power points, and discussion questions.  To pass the course, students are expected to read lecture material, participate in weekly discussions/ and complete a written assignment related to each week’s topic.  Assignments will be practical and relevant.


Menzi Behrnd-Klodt is an experienced archivist and attorney.  Her archival experience includes work with major historical societies and museums, and corporate and organizational archives.  She has developed new archives, advised those who have archival responsibilities thrust upon them, and taught legions of staff and volunteers the basics of “how to do” archival work.  Menzi has Masters’ degrees in history and library and information science, a JD in law, and is a Certified Archivist.