Profession archivist

Archivists collect, appraise and ensure the safekeeping and preservation of the contents of archives, artefacts and records of historical, cultural, administrative and artistic interest, and of art and other objects. They plan, devise and implement systems for the safekeeping of records and historically valuable documents.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Conventional / Investigative
  • Enterprising / Conventional

Related professions library

  • Documentalist
  • Librarian
  • Library clerk
  • Library manager
  • Library technician


  • Collection management

    The process of resource evaluation, selection and life-cycle planning to create and promote a coherent collection in line with the developing needs of the users or customers. Understanding legal deposit for long-term access to publications.

  • Conservation techniques

    The procedures, instruments, techniques, materials and chemicals used in conservation and archiving.


  • Store archival objects

    Preserve, store and look after archival documents; copy archive records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as required.

  • Write scientific papers

    Present the hypothesis, findings, and conclusions of your scientific research in your field of expertise in a professional publication.

  • Carry out records management

    Manage the life-cycle of records of institutions, indivduals, corporate bodies, collections, oral history.

  • Manage archive users guidelines

    Establish policy guidelines on public access to a (digital) archive and the cautious use of present materials. Communicate the guidelines to archive visitors.

  • Manage digital archives

    Create and maintain computer archives and databases, incorporating latest developments in electronic information storage technology.

  • Aid archive users with their enquiries

    Provide reference services and overall assistance for researchers and visitors in their search for archival materials.

  • Appraise historical documents

    Authenticate and evaluate historical documents and archive materials.

  • Study a collection

    Research and trace the origins and the historical significance of collections and archive content.

  • Create semantic trees

    Create coherent lists and hierarchies of concepts and terms to ensure consistent indexing in knowledge organisation systems.

  • Facilitate access to information

    Prepare documents for archiving; ensure that the information can easily be accessed at all times.

  • Contextualise collection

    Comment, describe, and provide context for the records in a collection.

  • Respect data protection principles

    Ensure that access to personal or institutional data conforms to the legal and ethical framework governing such access.

Optional knowledge and skills

manage budgets hire new personnel manage human resources digitise documents perform customer management coordinate educational programmes use software for data preservation develop classification systems

Common job titles

  • Digital archivist
  • Archives technician (reference)
  • Special projects archivist
  • Archivist i or ii
  • Assistant archivist for acquisitions, gotlieb archival research center
  • Archivist
  • Project archivist – two year term position
  • Associate, corporate archives
  • Processing archivist
  • Archivist (research and reference archivist)