Archivists

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Also known as:
Archivist, Digital Archivist, Film Archivist, Historical Records Administrator, Image Archivist, Museum Archivist, Processing Archivist, Reference Archivist, State Archivist

ABOUT ARCHIVIST CAREERS
Video transcript

From a turn of the century love letter to an old map that settles a modern property dispute, important records of the past are collected and preserved in archives. They are organized and cared for archivists.

Archivists patiently sort historically valuable paper, film, and electronic records, deciding what's worth keeping and what's not. The work may require researching the items to verify their origin and value.

It's important that archivists be up to date on modern technology. For example, computers are increasingly used to store and exhibit archival records. Strong organizational skills are essential: archivists must be able to catalog the items so that they can be easily located.

Although usually comfortably quiet, the workplace can be crowded with stored materials. The job may require bending to lift heavy boxes and climbing ladders to reach high shelves.

Archivists usually specialize in a particular area of history. They may work for museums, libraries, even corporations - anywhere records and related items are saved.

Employers look for graduate degrees in history or library science, along with experience working with historical materials. Certification by the Academy of Certified Archivists can give you an edge.

This is a job that goes far beyond simply keeping track of old documents. Archivists are vital guardians of fragile and often irreplaceable history.

SNAPSHOT
Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.

Select and edit documents for publication and display, applying knowledge of subject, literary expression, and presentation techniques.

Locate new materials and direct their acquisition and display.

Authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials.

Coordinate educational and public outreach programs, such as tours, workshops, lectures, and classes.

Create and maintain accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electronic information storage technology.

Specialize in an area of history or technology, researching topics or items relevant to collections to determine what should be retained or acquired.

Organize archival records and develop classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.

Prepare archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.

Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials.

Preserve records, documents, and objects, copying records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as necessary.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
History and Archeology Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
TOP SKILLS
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.