Archivists Career Video
Description: Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
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 by archivists. Archivists patiently sort historically valuable paper, objects, 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. Strong organizational skills are essential. Archivists must be able to catalog the items so that they can be easily located. They create and maintain computer databases, and create film and digital copies of archival materials. Most archivists also have a public outreach role, coordinating and leading tours and classes. Although usually quiet, the workspace 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.