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Program Overview

The joint MSIS/MA and MSLS/MA degree program draws on the shared interests of librarians and art historians, including the preservation and documentation of created works, and combines the Master of Science in either library science or information science and the Master of Art in art history. The program is designed to be completed in three academic years, and to prepare graduates for professional positions in art libraries in colleges, universities, and art museums. This degree also provides excellent preparation for those interested in careers as museum registrars or as curators of digital image, slide, and photograph collections. In addition to knowledge of art history, professionals in these fields must possess an understanding of content management systems, indexing and abstracting, classification schemes, and controlled vocabularies, all of which are addressed in the curriculum for the joint MSIS/MA, MSLS/MA program.

Information and Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill

The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science provides an outstanding combination of cutting-edge research and scholarship, combining both traditional and emerging areas of professional practice. SILS is home to more than 300 students pursuing programs of study at all levels, ranging from an undergraduate major in information science to a PhD in information and library science. Most SILS students are enrolled in one of the two Master’s degree programs in either information or library science.

Degree Requirements:

MSIS/MA, MSLS/MA students are advised by faculty members in the Department of Art and Art History and the School of Information and Library Science. Students take courses in both the Department of Art and Art History and SILS. Students complete 54 credit hours altogether. Degree requirements for the MA portion of the dual degree are the same as for the standalone MA program, except that 2 SILS courses may count as Art History electives (and 3 Art History courses may count as SILS electives), and the credit hours are spread out over 3 years rather than the typical 2 for each individual program.

Carolina Artists’ Archives Program:

NOTE: All currently funded fellowships for this program have been awarded. We are in the process of applying for a renewal of the grant that funded fellowships and will post an announcement when more fellowships become available.

“Learning from Artists’ Archives: Preparing Next Generation Art Information Professionals through Partnerships with North Carolina’s Artists’ Archives” is a comprehensive training program supporting fellows enrolled in the dual master’s degree offered by UNC’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and the Art Department’s art history program.

In addition to coursework at UNC, each fellow will complete two internships. These internships will expose participants to the current state of best practice by placing them at a museum, library or archive that manages the records of artists, and through working directly with North Carolina artists on their legacy needs.

Artists’ archives present unusual challenges for long-term preservation. In addition to paper documents and computer files, these archives may contain actual works of art, as well as items that blur the line between art and archive, such as illustrated letters, sketchbooks, photographs and video, and even brushes and paint.

For more details, see the program website at: