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.
What they do:
Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
On the job, you would:
Organize archival records and develop classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.
Provide reference services and assistance for users needing archival materials.
Prepare archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.
Arts and Humanities
history and archeology
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Safety and Government
law and government
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by writing
read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
order or arrange things
group things in different ways
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Corel Paint Shop Pro
Video creation and editing software
Adobe Systems Adobe Premiere Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro
master's degree or certificate after college usually needed