Digital Curation

Visit the Museum Studies program page.
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Visit the Combined Museum Studies/Digital Curation program page.
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Museums worldwide are now routinely digitizing all collection objects as they are acquired and loaned, not only for access but as documentation in the event of loss, damage or theft. They are also digitizing significant portions or even all of their holdings in order to create the robust web sites that the public now expects. In addition, 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 valuable digital assets continues at a rapid pace, and cultural heritage institutions now have a critical need for professionals in the field to manage and preserve all types of digital assets to ensure their long-term availability for researchers, educators and the public, and to participate in the development and promotion of standards and best practices for digital curation in cultural heritage.

The Johns Hopkins University Graduate Certificate in Digital Curation, offered through the graduate program in Museum Studies, advances the education and training of museum and other cultural heritage professionals worldwide in this emerging field. The certificate program offers a specialized curriculum that prepares current and aspiring cultural heritage professionals to work with digital collections, exhibitions, and research data to ensure the effective stewardship of our global cultural heritage in all types of museums, from art museums to zoos, and related cultural heritage organizations. Students in this program will also contribute to the critically needed professional literature in the field.

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

In addition to online coursework, the program includes a customized internship designed to meet the student’s interests and career goals and a supervised research paper that enables the student to develop and demonstrate research and communication skills that will contribute to the professional development of the field and will last throughout their careers. The program prepares 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 objects in trustworthy repositories
  • Demonstrate awareness of legal issues that impact museums’ abilities to preserve digital collections and make  them accessible
  • Identify and describe workflows for the creation and management of digital collections in museum environments
  • Demonstrate understanding of research methods and critical thinking skills through the supervised research paper
  • Participate in the development and promotion of best practices and standards for digital curation of cultural heritage materials
  • Become leaders in the museum and digital curation communities

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

Who Should Apply

The program is appropriate for all types of current and aspiring cultural heritage professionals who have responsibility for or interest in museum, archives and artifact collections, including collection managers, registrars, curators, museum archivists, museum librarians, and others.

Students who are interested in pursuing both the MA in Museum Studies and the Digital Curation Certificate may apply to both programs simultaneously. Two core courses for the certificate may be taken as electives in the MA program and counted toward both the MA and the certificate, and vice versa, resulting in a total of 14 courses rather than 16 (see Museum Studies/Digital Curation Certificate). Students currently enrolled in either program may also apply to the other program at any time.

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