Digital Curation

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Museums and cultural heritage institutions worldwide have recognized the need to digitize their collection records and images for several decades. The advent of the World Wide Web has increased the urgency of this effort to make collections, exhibitions, and other resources accessible over the Internet. Museums worldwide are now routinely digitizing all collection objects as they are acquired and loaned, not only for access, but also as documentation in the event of loss, damage or theft. Increasingly, museums are acquiring born-digital content such as digital media art; historical data in digital formats; and scientific research data. The creation and acquisition of digital assets continues at a rapid pace, and museums now have a critical need for professionals in the field to manage and preserve all types of digital assets, as well as to participate in the development of standards and policies.

Quick Stats

Course Locations Online
Available 100% Online No. Five courses online and one required on-ground internship.
Entry Terms Fall, Spring or Summer semester
Degree Requirements Six courses, including internship and research paper

The Johns Hopkins University Certificate in Digital Curation, offered through the online graduate program in Museum Studies, advances the education and training of museum professionals worldwide in this emerging field.

This certificate offers a specialized curriculum that is critically needed in the museum field. It will prepare current and aspiring museum professionals to manage the growing volume and variety of digital data of long-term value that museums are now producing, acquiring, storing and sharing with researchers, educators and the public. It will train students to work with digital collections, exhibitions, and research data that will ensure the longevity of our global cultural heritage of which museums are the stewards. Students in this certificate program will also contribute to the new professional literature in the field.

The program will prepare students to:

  • Identify and describe the principles of digital preservation and digital curation
  • Create and assess digital preservation plans and strategies
  • Demonstrate understanding of archival principles of appraisal and the management of digital content in trustworthy repositories
  • Demonstrate awareness of legal issues that impact museums’ abilities to preserve digital content and make it accessible
  • Identify and describe workflows for the creation and management of digital content in museum environments
  • Demonstrate understanding of research methods and critical thinking skills through the supervised research paper

Find out more about this unique academic program by reading the Q&A with Dr. Joyce Ray, Program Coordinator for the Certificate in Digital Curation.

Online Classes

The program is almost fully online. Students take six courses: four core courses and one elective online; and a required supervised internship in a physical location.


The internship requirement affords students the opportunity to experience and contribute to a working digital program with a supervision partnership between the university and the host institution. Students’ progress will be closely supervised. In addition to the on-ground internship experience at a physical museum site, students will be required to produce evidence of their accomplishments through journals, media presentations, or other products in an online course component, and online discussion forums for students enrolled in internships during the same semester. A goal of the internship program is to contribute value to the host institution as well as to create a rich learning experience for the student. The internship requirement is taken after completing three core courses: Foundations of Digital Curation, Digital Preservation, and Managing Digital Information.

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