Clayton State University has appointed Richard Pearce-Moses to be the first director of the Master of Archival Studies (MAS) program.
The program, which began in January 2010, is distinguished by a dual emphasis of archival sciences and information technology. Pearce-Moses has been a professional archivist for more than 20 years and is a certified archivist. He has worked with a variety of subjects and formats, including photography, regional history, Native American art and culture, as well as state and local government. For the past decade, his has focused on digital archives and libraries, including finding ways to capture and preserve digital publications on the Web and new ways to automate processing electronic records.
“Richard Pearce-Moses is nationally known for his pioneering work on digital archives,” says David Carmicheal, director of the Georgia Archives. “The fact that Clayton State University recruited such an accomplished professional is an indication of their commitment to shaping the digital archivists of the future.”
Pearce-Moses’ directorship should draw students from across the nation to Clayton’s MAS program, Carmicheal adds.
“Richard has been president of the Society of American Archivists and is a Distinguished Fellow of that organization. His reputation within the archives profession, and his work with digital archives, will attract students to Clayton State from within Georgia and across the country,” he says.
The MAS degree program at Clayton State constitutes a broader study of archival science than students would receive either in a master's-level degree program in library and information science or a public history graduate program. Graduates will have knowledge in the emerging field of digital archives and electronic records management.
“We are extremely fortunate and very excited to have Richard Pearce-Moses join us here at Clayton State University,” says Dr. Lila F. Roberts, dean of the Clayton State College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, where the MAS program will be housed. “His enthusiasm for the field and his significant contributions on a national level will be of tremendous benefit to our students. I am confident that Richard will help us to build a strong and distinctive program.”
The MAS program provides a strong emphasis on experiential learning with original archival materials at the Georgia State Archives and the National Archives at Atlanta, located adjacent to the university. Students will put into practice the knowledge they have obtained through coursework and labs. This innovative blend of traditional knowledge, technology, and experiential learning makes Clayton State's MAS program distinctive in Georgia and the Southeast in its breadth and contemporary approach, notes Roberts.
“It is essential for archivists to have a strong foundation in archival science and information technology,” says Pearce-Moses. “Unless archivists are comfortable working with digital information, many current records will be lost forever. Some people believe that so many electronic records will be lost, we are living in what will be known as the digital dark ages.”
As president of the Society of American Archivists, Pearce-Moses led a national colloquium to determine the skills required for individuals to be able to work with digital records. He also helped the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona to develop a certificate program in Digital Information Management. Most recently, he worked as the deputy director for Technology and Information Resources at the Arizona State Library and Archives in Phoenix. While at the Library and Archives, he helped establish policies and guidelines for digital archives and records management for state and local governments. He was also the principal investigator on the Persistent Digital Archives and Library System (PeDALS), a multistate research project funded by the Library of Congress to discover new ways to automate curation of large collections of digital records.
Previously, Pearce-Moses was documentary collections archivist and automation coordinator for the Heard Museum and curator of photographs at the Arizona State University Libraries. Before moving to Arizona, he worked as a local records consultant for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and as assistant to the curator at the Photography Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2007 the American Library Association presented him the Fredrick G. Kilgour Award in recognition of his work, and the Library of Congress named him a Digital Preservation Pioneer in 2008.
Pearce-Moses has a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2001), a Master of American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (1987), and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin (1976).