Cultural Informatics - a conceptual framework

Cultural Informatics, defined at the intersection of culture, digital technology, and information science, serves as an overarching concept  for SILS programs in the areas such as digital cultural heritage, digital humanities, and information studies. Coursework is supported by the Cultural Informatics Lab (Room 609), the iLab (Room 608), and Digital Media Lab (Room 606).

We invite you to explore our program concentrations, all of which you can pursue within your MSLIS degree. 


Information Policy and Society

The IPS concentration will give students the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to work in today’s information environments. Students will learn about the legal, economic, and social forces that affect how we create, use, re-use, repurpose and share information.

Digital Humanities

The Digital Humanities program concentration reflects current trends in the area of digital humanities, including cultural heritage; data collection and knowledge organization; data analysis and visualization; digital project management; preservation; digital pedagogy and social media; and the changing natures of scholarship and publication in the digital age. Courses in the program emphasize the special role of librarians and information professionals in supporting research, teaching, and professional development in this area.

User Experience

The User Experience (UX) concentration teaches students how to design usable, useful, and desirable digital interfaces from a user-centered perspective. Through coursework and hands-on practice, students will be trained in the methods used to understand users and their contexts and apply that knowledge to the design and evaluation of interactive technologies.

Digital Management for Cultural Heritage

Developed through IMLS funding for Project CHART (Cultural Heritage, Access, Research, and Technology) the Digital Management for Cultural Heritage program prepares students for careers in cultural heritage institutions in the digital world across libraries, archives and museums and other cultural institutions. Students acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge enabling them to be leaders in the field working from a cutting-edge vantage point and with creativity.

LEO: Literacy, Education and Outreach

This area of study focuses on: Literacy programs for K-12 including visual and media literacy School libraries and library media specialist (LMS); Public libraries - Children and YA Librarianship; museum education centers and programs; educational technology and user education. Increasingly, librarians are playing a pivotal role in literacy across all media for both real and virtual users of  libraries and information centers from research and museum libraries to school and public libraries. Creative Teaching and Learning. 

Rare Books and Special Collection in the Digital World

Enriching our programs in the field of cultural informatics, this program in Rare Books and Special Collections is taught from traditional and digital perspectives. It prepares students for careers in academic and research libraries and for professional positions in arts and humanities collections and services. Key courses take place at the New York Public Library, (42nd Street, South Court), affording students the rare opportunity to have access to world-class collections. Students participate in digitization projects to get hands-on experience, creating digital archives based on rare books and special collections. Our new iLab, with its ATIZ book scanner, is designed to support teaching and student projects in the digitization of rare books and manuscripts.

New York Public Library Partnership for Education

From the Museum and Library Research course at the Watson Library to Special Collections courses focusing on Art, Map, and Ephemera collections to the Rare Books course, we focus on learning on location and on hands-on experience.

Health Information

At Pratt-SILS, the health information concentration within the MSLIS degree prepares students for careers in the health information field across a range of environments from academic, public and hospital libraries to the pharmaceutical industry and alternative health providers.

Research and Assessment

Today, libraries, archives, museums and the IT sector seek creative information professionals who can develop innovative ways of meeting user expectations while supporting change and innovation within their organization. Research and assessment are at the heart of this process and when placed in a creative framework, empower one to identify problems, explore solutions and choose the best course of action to develop user-centered information services.

SILS also offers concentrations in archives and museum libraries through our advanced certificate offerings.