Rush Rhees Library

Rush Rhees Library, River Campus

All students are required to complete the following courses:

  • The Photograph as Art
  • The Photograph as Material Culture
  • Preservation I
  • Collections Management
  • Preservation II

Students will also complete the “History, Theory, Object” component with courses of their choice, and 80 hours of practical work over the course of their degree via Institutional Service Opportunity.

Required Courses for All Students

“The Photograph as Art” and “The Photograph as Material Culture” can be taken at either GEH or UR. The three remaining required courses are taught at GEH by GEH staff who are UR adjunct professors.

“Preservation I” and “Preservation II” acquaint students with print handling, print identification, storage of prints and negatives, preservation issues for paper photographs, cased objects, photographic albums, negatives, color prints, and digital objects. In addition, students will learn about materials identification, assisting researchers, and skills for housing photographic objects. The second preservation course will deal extensively with historical processes and with digital assets management.

“Collections Management" provides an overview of collection registration and cataloguing. It includes the function of registration and cataloguing staff; developing cataloguing systems; the role and usage of computer technology; collection management procedures; insurance; and condition reports.

  • In the “registration” portion of this course students will be introduced to the guiding principles of stewardship and collection management, and through discussions, explore various legal and ethical issues museum professionals face today. The course will further examine the regulatory system designed to uphold the integrity of collection care and manage liability exposure associated with a broad range of collection activities.
  • The “cataloguing” portion of this course is designed to familiarize students with cataloguing and the use of a collection database. Students will complete assignments using The Museum System (TMS), a database interface used in more than 600 museums worldwide. Topics include, but are not limited to descriptive and subject cataloguing, style manuals, finding aids, and information migration.
  • Throughout the course, each student will create a set of reference reports on essential topics related to the complex challenges of collection management.

“Institutional Service Opportunities” provide hands-on work, either at George Eastman House or at the University of Rochester, in which students work with a supervisor (such as a curator, other museum staff, archivist, librarian, or faculty member) on practical or theoretical projects. Projects will cover a wide variety of topics, and students will choose from a number of projects which ones they will work on. Students will write up a 2–3 page description of the work they performed for each project and the conclusions/solutions they found for the problems they confronted.