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Career profile: Archivist

Career profile: ArchivistWhat is an archivist?

An archivist is someone who cares for materials that have significant historical or cultural value. Archivists are responsible for organizing collections of records or information and making them accessible to others.

How do I become an archivist?

Also known as record professionals, archivists typically hold post-graduate degrees in records management or in Library and Information Science. Some archivists hold post-graduate degrees in History, since it is important to have an interest in heritage if working with past objects and information. The Society of Archivists has a list of which degrees will allow an individual to be considered a professionally-qualified archivist. Many post-graduate programs take about a year to complete.

Familiarity with technology is also suggested for would-be archivists, as archivists are turning to computers to store and save records. Previous work experience in record-keeping is also suggested, as many programs require some form of work experience in order to apply. Most importantly, applicants should have strong research, communication, and organizational skills.

What’s it like to work as an archivist?

Archivists can work in a number of different areas, but they are most often associated with museums, universities, and libraries. They can work on an individual or team basis. The tasks of an archivist are varied—many are responsible for analysing and sorting archival material, as well as preserving and storing material by generating digital records.

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