2015 Winter Newsletter / School News

SIS Joins the Faculty of Arts

In May 2014, the School of Information Studies (SIS) joined the Faculty of Arts, ushering in a new chapter in the School’s history.

Since its creation over a century ago, the School has fallen under various administrative umbrellas at McGill, including the Faculty of Arts and Science (1940-1965) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (1965-1996). When the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research was dismantled in 1996, the School joined the Faculty of Education.

The research landscape and the academic programs at SIS have changed tremendously in the last 18 years. The School has continuously integrated new options into its programs as new roles for librarians and information professionals have emerged with the transformation of libraries, the increasing use of information technologies, and the proliferation of digital information. SIS has also become a research-intensive academic unit that addresses information-related problems through diverse research traditions and methodologies. Information studies is increasingly multidisciplinary and shares many attributes, and methodologies with both the social sciences and the humanities.

Strongly supported by SIS faculty members and students, the move to the Faculty of Arts represents more than an administrative change. Our community recognized that SIS could both benefit from the move and contribute to the Faculty of Arts by developing partnerships with other Arts departments and institutes. The Faculty is a truly multifaceted environment where disciplines, institutes, and groups interact to offer promising areas for cross-pollination. The move should provide a new intellectual environment, and spark collaboration in research and academic initiatives that will benefit our faculty, students, and community.

Already, the School is involved in a proposal for a Master’s in Digital Humanities in the Faculty of Arts, and is planning to develop a minor in information studies for Arts undergraduate students.

This affiliation is an exciting new chapter in the School’s long history. We look forward to keep you up-to-date in future newsletters.

The School’s administrative offices will remain in the historic mansion at 3661 Peel Street.

“I am very pleased to welcome the School of Information Studies, its faculty, and its students to the Faculty of Arts. The School adds to the Faculty’s already impressive diversity of disciplines.” – Dean of Arts, Professor Christopher Manfredi