UBC School of Library, Archival and Information Studies

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The School of Library, Archival and Information Studies
Irving K. Barber Centre
Established 1961
Type Public
Director Luanne Freund (Acting)
Administrative staff
Over 40 staff and faculty (13 full-time tenured/tracked faculty), 25 seasonal lecturers
Postgraduates 130 MLIS, 30 MAS, 30-40 Dual, 20 MACL, 15-18 PhD
Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Campus Urban, 402 ha (993 acres)
Colours      Blue      Gold
Affiliations University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Website www.slais.ubc.ca

The School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS or SLAIS, The iSchool at UBC) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is a graduate school offering a Master of Archival Studies (MAS), a Master of Arts in Children's Literature (MACL), a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS), a DUAL Master of Archival Studies/Master of Library and Information Studies (MASLIS) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies (Ph.D.). Founded in 1961 as the School of Librarianship, SLAIS is currently located in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Academic Programs

SLAIS offers four master's degrees and a doctoral degree. A concentration in First Nations and a sub-specialization in Human-Computer Interaction are also available.

The Master of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies degrees are 48-credit programs, consisting primarily of coursework, with an optional 12-credit thesis option.

The Master of Archival Studies degree program follows the guidelines for archival education published by the Association of Canadian Archivists and the Society of American Archivists. The degree program began in 1981 and was the first stand-alone degree program in archival science in Canada or the United States.[1]

The Master of Library and Information Studies degree is accredited by the American Library Association. The degree was first offered in 1995 and superseded the Master of Library Studies, which had been offered since 1971. Prior to that, the school offered a one-year Bachelor of Library Science.[2]

The Dual Master of Archival Studies/Master of Library and Information Studies Program enables students to earn both the MAS and MLIS degrees within three to five years, following the completion of 81 credits.

The Master of Arts in Children's Literature is a 30-credit interdisciplinary program, composed of courses from the departments of English, French, Language and Literacy Education, Theatre and SLAIS.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Library, Archival and Information Studies program was introduced in 2003, with Archival Studies and Library and Information Studies streams.


Research at SLAIS is clustered in three core areas: management and preservation of digital records, creation and use of cultural materials and digital information systems and information interaction. The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) Project focuses on the authenticity of born-digital records in records management programs and archives. The Centre for the Investigation of Financial Records (CiFER) studies issues relevant to the management of financial records, including risk management, security and e-discovery. The Digital Information Interaction Group (DiiG) brings together researchers and students engaged in the study of human interaction with digital information objects, collections of digital media, and digital information systems.

New Media

At the iSchool, a number of faculty do research in the new media space: Internet research, online social networks, e-learning, new media literacy, youth and new media, e-books, social media, open data and government, user engagement, social tagging, researchers on GRAND (Graphics, Animation and New Media), as well as faculty associated with the Art’s Bachelor of Media Studies.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

HCI is necessarily an interdisciplinary field, engaging researchers who design, build, test, evaluate and examine the impact of new computer implementations for individual, group and community use across levels of skill, ability, and facility with technology. It addresses multiple contexts from work to learning and includes both fixed and mobile technologies and applications.[3]

Cultural Heritage

Collection, preservation, access and use in library, archival and museum contexts, as augmented and challenged by digitization, digital production (‘born digital’ materials), participatory culture, and access through contemporary media. Cultural Heritage addresses what in the cultural realm will be retained, by whom, in what manner, and with what access (i.e. whose history will be digitized, retained and made available). Research addresses both traditional and newly emerging contexts. It includs new access protocols and technologies for physical and digitized cultural artifacts held in traditional institutions, documentation, preservation, and sustainability of cultural knowledge and practices.

Records and Information Management

Archival science is concerned broadly with the creation and preservation of representations of transactions (i.e., records and archives) that can provide information and evidence about past activities of individuals and organizations. Archival Science explores the theoretical and practical conditions that lead to, or work against, creation and preservation of persistent and trustworthy records and archives. It also touches on issues of representation, openness, transparency, privacy, security, accountability, internal control, compliance and risk and risk management.

Children and Young Adult Literature and Services

This research depends on a multi-disciplinary approach bringing an understanding of child development, cognition, literacy, and literary analysis to bear on creative and critical evaluation of children’s and young adult literature in traditional and new media formats.[4]


  1. Eastwood, Terry. "Archival Research: the University of British Columbia Experience." The American Archivist 63 (Fall/Winter 2006): 243-257.
  2. SLAIS. "History of SLAIS." Accessed January 28, 2012.
  3. http://hci.ubc.ca/about-hciubc/
  4. http://macl.arts.ubc.ca/

External links