Archivist Career

Job Description: Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.


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What Archivists do:

  • Create and maintain accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electronic information storage technology.
  • Establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.
  • Locate new materials and direct their acquisition and display.
  • Organize archival records and develop classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.
  • Prepare archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.
  • Provide reference services and assistance for users needing archival materials.
  • Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials.
  • Specialize in an area of history or technology, researching topics or items relevant to collections to determine what should be retained or acquired.
  • Coordinate educational and public outreach programs, such as tours, workshops, lectures, and classes.
  • Direct activities of workers who assist in arranging, cataloguing, exhibiting, and maintaining collections of valuable materials.
  • Preserve records, documents, and objects, copying records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as necessary.
  • Select and edit documents for publication and display, applying knowledge of subject, literary expression, and presentation techniques.
  • Authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Holland Code Chart for an Archivist