Curriculum Vitae

Christopher J. Prom  | Brief Curriculum Vitae


  • Assistant University Archivist and Professor, University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: 1999-present
  • Publications Editor and Chair of the Publications Board, Society of American Archivists, 2013-present
  • Honorary Teaching Fellow, Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee, United Kingdom, 2010–present. 


As Assistant University Archivist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I plan programs for the transfer, arrangement, and description of archival materials and manuscript collections, administer associational archives funded by contracts, and provide research and reference services.  I also develop automation projects that increase the accessibility of archival materials, including born-digital records.  Major accomplishments, within a steadily increasing range of responsibilities, include:

  • Acquiring collections that document the history of major university programs and faculty.
  • Initiated and led the development of a digital archives program to identify, capture, and provide access to ‘born-digital’ materials of enduring value.
  • Implementing low-cost and low barrier access systems for archival materials, including electronic records and digital photographs.
  • Guiding the development of the “Archon” software platform; and releasing the software under an open-source license at
  • Raising over $500,000 in support of collections or systems/automation projects. Representative projects include funding for the American Library Association Archives, processing and digitization of record documenting disability programs, College of Engineering Archives.
  • Developing an active research and service portfolio, focusing on issues relating to archival description, online information seeking behaviors, and the appraisal, preservation, and use of electronic records, including email.
  • Leading a visioning and implementation planning process for a new web presence and content management system application for the Library.
  • Leading publications board and authors in vision setting for Society of American Archivists Trends in Archives Practice Series; recruiting authors for Archival Fundamentals III Series, and leading component groups in implementing open access case study series.


  • Marquette University, Honors BA, History/Philosophy, May 1991; MA, History, May 1994.
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ph.D., History, May 2004.


  • Fulbright Distinguished Scholar (United Kingdom), 2009–
  • Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, 2010.


“Tools for Implementing Digital Preservation Standards: A Preliminary Assessment,” Society of Archivists Data Standards Group, British Library, London England, February 3, 2010.

“Preserving the ‘Papers’ of 21st Century Science,” Niels Bohr Institute History of Science Lecture Series, Copenhagen, Denmark, March 6, 2010.

“A Critical Take: How Do We Source Our Tools?” Yours, Mine, and Ours: Leadership Through Collaboration, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, September 21, 2010.

Keynote Address, “Building Digital Archives Capacity Step by Step,” Society of Indiana Archivists Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, April 2, 2011.

“Preserving Email: The Nature of the Problem,” Digital Preservation Coalition Briefing Day, Wellcome Foundation, London, England, July 29, 2011.

Keynote Address, “Making Digital Preservation Practical: A Personal Odyssey,” Society of Georgia Archivists Annual Meeting, Morrow, Georgia, November 2, 2011.

Keynote Address, “Facilitating the Generation of Archives in the Facebook Era,” 17th Brazilian Congress of Archival Science, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 21, 2012.

“Documenting Science in the Digital Age: What’s the Same and What’s Different,” Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities Digital Dialogs Series, September 17, 2013

Keynote Address: “The Challenge and Opportunity of Preserving Digital Communications.”  Museums and the Web Deep Dive: Email Archiving Special Session, April 1, 2014.

Keynote Address: “A More Product, Less Process Approach to Digital Access,” Society of Ohio Archivists Annual Meeting, May 16, 2014.

Keynote Address: “Acquiring and Preserving Digital Archives: Our Great Opportunity,” Center for European Research Libraries Manuscript Librarians Expert Group Conference, The Royal Library, Copenhagen Denmark, October 9, 2014.

Keynote Address, “Archival Connections: Meeting People in their Digital Spaces,” Best Practices Exchange, Montgomery, AL November 21, 2014.



Books Edited or Co-Edited

Prom, Christopher J. and Ellen D. Swain, Eds.  2008.  College and University Archives: Readings in Theory and Practice.  Chicago: Society of American Archivists. 357 pp.

Prom, Christopher J. and Thomas Frusciano, Eds.  2013.  Arranging and Describing Archives and Manuscripts.  Trends in Archives Practice Series.  Chicago: Society of American Archivists.  213 pp.

Bernd-Koldt, Menzi and Christopher J. Prom, Eds.  2015.  Rights in the Digital Era.  Trends in Archives Practice Series.  Chicago: Society of American Archivists. 228 pp.

Chapters in Books

Prom, Christopher J.   2008.  “Optimum Access?  A Survey of Processing in College and University Archives,” in College and University Archives: Readings in Theory and Practice, edited by Christopher J. Prom and Ellen D. Swain.  Chicago: Society of American Archivists Press: 155-184.  Selected for reprint in The American Archivist vol. 73, no. 1 (2010): 146-74.

Prom, Christopher J.   2013.  “Re-imagining Academic Archives,” in Hacking the Academy, edited by Dan Cohen and Tom Scheienfeldt.   Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, 146-149.   Available:


Prom, Christopher J. 2011. Preserving Email. DPC Technical Watch Report 11-01.  Digital Preservation Coalition. 51 pages.  Available:

Articles in Journals

Prom, Christopher J.  2004.  “User Interactions with Electronic Finding Aids in a Controlled Setting.” The American Archivist vol. 67, no. 2: 234-68.

Prom, Christopher J. and Ellen D. Swain.  2007.  “From College Democrats to the Falling Illini: Identifying, Appraising, and Capturing Student Organization Web Sites.”  The American Archivist vol. 70, no. 2:  344-363.

Prom, Christopher J.  2011.  “Using Web Analytics to Improve Online Access to Archival Resources.” The American Archivist vol. 74, no.1 (Spring/Summer 2011): 158-84.

Prom, Christopher J.  2011.  “Making Digital Curation a Systematic Institutional Function.” International Journal of Digital Curation vol. 6, no.1: 139-52.

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