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  1. #1
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    Default What Does An Archivist Do?

    I am just wondering, what does an Archivist do, what is their day-to-day tasks and duties, sounds like a nice and relaxed job to me, but maybe I am wrong.

  2. #2
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    Default Archivist Job Description

    Main purpose of the archivist job:

    The purpose of the archivist is to arrange, describe, preserve and provide any access to records with any long-term and historical value under typical office conditions and inactive records storage area.

    Position of the job within the organization as a whole


    The archivist will work in records management and also archive conservation, with smaller businesses or organizations combining the archivist position with records management. These records are mostly films and electronic records and also books, papers, photographs and prints and even computer generated records or maps.

    Location and setting of the job

    People who will use the services of an archivist are academics, libraries, academic libraries, researchers, the public, and professional staff. Generally the location of the archivist is in an office setting, working in storage areas where records are kept over long periods of time.

    Daily duties and tasks and which make up the bulk of the archivist's job:

    • Communication by phone
    • Detailed discussions and communication with the public
    • Personal contact requiring courtesy and discretion
    • Written or email correspondence
    • Handling classified information
    • To appraise records for preservation and safeguarding
    • Arranging for the recovery of records and their attainment
    • Preparing any record-keeping system and procedures of archival research
    • Classification of record collections and cataloging the results


    Occasional duties, travelling or covering for others

    The archivist will occasionally travel to offer records management advice for organizations, to encourage public awareness of the responsibilities of accurate record keeping. Occasionally, the archivist will need to meet legal obligations. This involves the areas of copyright, patent protection, data protection and Freedom of information.

    Special working conditions, for example shift work, unusual hours, travel

    The hours of the archivist are usually from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Holidays are generally not worked, unless by special request. Very little travel is associated with this job.

    Educational requirements

    The minimum requirement is a graduate level degree in coursework for archives management. Preferences are usually for individuals with computer technology and records management. It is common to receive short-term contracts within two years of qualification or work as an assistant archivist. Countries vary in their requirements.

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