The job of an archivist is to organize, preserve, and help make available historically significant documents, including written records, photographs, and sound recordings. They work for museums, colleges and universities, businesses and corporations, and branches of government, and may specialize in a particular area of history and form of record keeping. Research and public outreach programming are also a part of the job of an archivist. General job responsibilities of archivists include:
- Authenticate, appraise, and organize historical records and materials
- Back up, maintain, and preserve historical records and materials
- Coordinate exhibitions and public access to historical records and materials
- Acquire new historical records and materials for collection
The BLS predicts job growth for archivists as both public and private organizations continue to acquire, maintain, and manage public access to an increasing number of historical documents, records, and information. Employers may favor archivists who specialize in electronic record keeping and management.Read More
Job Growth for
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Becoming an Archivist
Archivists typically hold at least a bachelor's degree in library science or history or a degree that includes a concentration in archival studies, museum studies, or records management. Many colleges and universities offer individual courses in archival techniques. Some employers will favor candidates with an advanced degree and related work experience.
Several schools offer online, hybrid, and on-campus degrees in library science. Ashford University's online bachelor's in library science program provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to acquire, organize, and maintain records, documents, and other historical materials for a collection. Drexel University's online master's degree in library and information science offers concentrations in six different areas, including archival studies, digital libraries, and competitive intelligence and knowledge management. A sampling of classes in a library science degree program may include:
- Research and Analysis Skills
- Foundations of Educational Technology
- Cataloging and Classification
- Managing Collections
Certification, licensure, or continuing education is not required for archivists, but may help with career opportunities and advancement. The Academy of Certified Archivists offers certification for archivists with a master's degree and one year of archival experience. The National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. offers in-house training to archivists.