In Summary - Archivist
Archivists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
The Work - Archivist
Archivists select, store, care for and provide access to records including written documents, maps, photographs, tapes and films. Archivists may keep records for churches, businesses, family estates, courts, councils, hospitals, charities or government agencies.
Archivists record and catalogue each document, identify those that need repairing, and select the best way to store them. Archivists do not do repairs but they may tell conservators which documents most need repairing. They also decide which documents to keep for their historical value and which to discard.
Archivists provide a service for customers. They answer written, phone and face-to-face enquiries. They show people relevant sources and help to interpret difficult documents. Archivists also give talks, produce written materials and information about collections, and mount exhibitions. For each exhibition they select and prepare materials. They also write texts to explain the materials.
The time archivists spend on these activities varies depending on where they work. In local record offices, archivists work with a variety of local records. Those who work in the national libraries often look after literary
University archivists may manage university records, or look after collections that belong to former academic staff and those relating to specific subjects. In businesses, archivists look after records about company history and product development.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- 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.
- Authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials.
- Create and maintain accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electronic information storage technology.
- Preserve records, documents, and objects, copying records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as necessary.
- Establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.
- Direct activities of workers who assist in arranging, cataloguing, exhibiting, and maintaining collections of valuable materials.
- Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials.
- Locate new materials and direct their acquisition and display.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interests - Archivist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
As an archivist, you need to be methodical and pay attention to detail. An interest in history is useful as is good literacy skills, and you need competent communication skills to supervise staff, advise the public and give lectures.
You may have to work in dirty conditions and carry heavy volumes. Research skills are important in this work as you need to find out about the background of materials. You need to be aware that some documents are confidential.
Entry Requirements - Archivist
Pay & Salary - Archivist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 60k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.