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Archivist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Archivists Career Video



Appraises, edits, and directs safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participates in research activities based on archival materials.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Visual Arts pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Organizes archival records and develops classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.
  • Provides reference services for users needing archival materials.
  • Prepares archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.
  • Authenticates and appraises historical documents and archival materials.
  • Creates and maintains accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electronic information storage technology.
  • Preserves records, documents, and objects, copying records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as necessary.
  • Establishes and enforces policy guidelines concerning public access to and use of materials.
  • Directs activities of workers who assist in arranging, cataloguing, exhibiting, and maintaining collections of valuable materials.
  • Researches the origin and historical significance of archival materials.
  • Locates new materials and directs their acquisition and display.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overnight travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Curator -- Administers affairs of a museum and conducts research programs.
  • Digital Archivist -- Converts files, photographs and other documents that an organization wishes to preserve into a digital format. Also collects and maintains digitally created data.
  • Film Archivist -- Manages the cataloging, preservation, restoration, storage, retrieval, or exhibition of moving-image materials, including film or video.
  • Public Records Officer -- Creates, organizes, maintains, and retrieves public records and maintains the records system.