INF465 Working with Special and Cultural Collections (8)

This subject introduces key knowledge and skills required for the management, preservation and care of special and cultural collections. It discusses and reflects on the ethics, standards, policies and practices required to care for these collections to ensure their long term sustainability. Students explore best practice in preventing and responding to environmental problems that might threaten special and cultural collections and the preservation and conservation approaches required to ensure these collections are cared for and made accessible. The institutional, historical, and community contexts of special and cultural collections are critically analysed in contemporary practice.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: INF465. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Information Studies

Assumed Knowledge

It is recommended that students have completed INF210 or INF435 before enrolling in this subject.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to historically contextualise special and cultural collections;
  • be able to communicate to a variety of audiences a professional understanding of the enduring value and importance of special and cultural collections;
  • be able to critically apply major standards and best practice regarding security, storage, transport and handling of a range of materials;
  • be able to analyse, evaluate and apply the main curatorial and management needs of special and cultural collections including organisation, conservation and access;
  • be able to manage effective and ethical acquisition practices according to institutional and professional standards and values; and
  • be able to explain the complex impact that environmental conditions have on the longevity of material.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Setting the scene: locating special and cultural collections
  • Stewardship: An ethics of care
  • Policy development
  • Significance, acquisitions and collection development
  • Collection organisation and access
  • Working with stakeholders
  • Preservation and conservation
  • Facilities, transportation, storage and handling
  • Specialised reference sources for special collections

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of INF465 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Multimedia piece checklist
Multimedia piece and exegesis
Briefing paper

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.