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How to Become an Archivist?

Discover the secrets to becoming an archivist and exploring a rewarding career in preserving history.

Published By Team SetMyCareer
Last Updated: 11 July 2024
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In this Career Outline


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Introduction to Archivist

"An archivist's work is a bridge between the past and the future, preserving memories that guide us forward."

Archivists collect, catalog, preserve, and manage significant historical documents. They work across various sectors, including government and industry, and can switch between positions, subspecialties, and institutions with proper training. Archivists may focus on preserving and sharing specific types of documents, like maps, videos, or specialized data, particularly in large repositories with multiple departments. However, many programs require a single archivist to handle multiple roles. Additionally, positions in records management often overlap with archivist duties.


Steps to Become an Archivist:

Step-1

Obtain a strong foundation in history, library science, or a related field.

Step-2

Pursue a bachelor’s degree in History, Library Science, Archival Studies, or a related discipline.

Step-4

Seek internships, volunteer opportunities, or entry-level positions in libraries, museums, or archives.

Step-3

Obtain a master’s degree in Archival Studies, Library Science, or Information Science for specialized knowledge.

Step-5

Focus on skills like attention to detail, research abilities, communication, and digital archiving.

Step-6

Consider certifications from professional organizations and stay updated with continuing education.

Step-7

Craft targeted resumes and cover letters showcasing your expertise when applying for archivist positions.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria Description
Eligibility Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as history, library science, or archival science.
Educational Background Education in humanities, social sciences, or information sciences preferred.
Undergraduate Degree Bachelor’s degree in history, library science, archival studies, or a related discipline.
Postgraduate Degree Master’s degree in archival science, library science, or information management is highly beneficial.
Entrance Exams Some universities may require entrance exams for postgraduate programs. Requirements vary by institution.

  • Minimum 50% aggregate in 12th grade from a recognized institution (PUC/CBSE/ICSE/ISC). Cut-off varies by college.
  • Obtain a degree, diploma, or certification from a recognized institution to become an Economist.
  • A bachelor's degree in Public Administration, History, Library Science, Political Science, or Archival Science supports a career path as an Archivist.
  • An MA in History, Political Science, or Archival Science can enhance career opportunities and deepen knowledge in the field.
  • Some universities and colleges may require Entrance exams after 12th for postgraduate programs. Requirements vary from institution to institution.

Not eligible to pursue this career?


Find out different career options based on your current academic accomplishments. Enquire with our career experts and build a roadmap to your career success!

Tasks to perform as an Archivist:

Study subjects or objects related to archives to establish what can be preserved or obtained by specializing in a field of history or technology.

Using the latest developments in digital information retrieval technologies, create and preserve open, retrievable computer records and databases.

Guide the efforts of employees who participate in the arrangement, documenting, displaying, and storing of important resources holdings.

Applying to understand the subject, textual language, and data presentation, choose and modify publications for distribution and exhibit.

Arrange archivist's documents and create labeling schemes to make preservation resources more available.

Knowledge & Skills Required

Archivists require a diverse range of skills to excel in their positions. Here are the key knowledge areas and skills needed to excel in this field:

Knowledge Required
Proficiency in digital preservation methods and long-term accessibility strategies. Skills in researching and interpreting historical documents and understanding their context within historical events and periods.
Familiarity with systems and standards for organizing and categorizing archival materials for easy retrieval. Understanding methods for systematically controlling the creation, distribution, use, and disposition of records.
Competence in using digital tools, databases, and software relevant to managing and accessing archives. Ability to plan, execute, and manage projects related to archival work, including collection development, digitization projects, and community outreach programs.
Skills Required
Analytical Skills Organizational Skills
Technical Proficiency Research Skills
Communication Skills Problem-Solving Skills
Project Management Interpersonal Skills

The Knowlegde and Skills don't intrigue you?


The reason is that your interests don't align with this career. Identify your interests and match them with careers that require those skills. This alignment will help you grow and succeed in your career faster than you might expect!

Job roles offered for an Archivist:

Once you procure the required qualifications for becoming an Archivist, a myriad of options is open to you. Various projects and career paths are available in this field.

Archive Director:

Manages the storage, preservation, and exhibition of historical documents for various organizations, ensuring their upkeep and coordinating exhibitions and public visits.

Digital Archivist:

Oversees electronic resources, develops documentation and database programs, and ensures digital tools' accessibility by preparing metadata.

Film Archivist:

Similar to a librarian, organizes, conserves, and catalogs films, requiring training in digital preservation and library science, working with movie companies, libraries, or independent associations.

Curator:

Manages exhibits, acquires collections, coordinates conservation, and creates new ways to present artifacts, collaborating with professionals and conducting research and lectures.

Outreach Coordinator:

Supports community and fundraising activities, ensures smooth event operation, engages attendees, coordinates media programs, gathers and interprets data, and handles logistical tasks.

Not sure where you fit in?


With the wide variety of careers and job roles available, pinpointing the best option for you can be challenging. Thorough analysis and dedicated sessions can provide clarity on what to study, which industry and role to pursue, and the most suitable career path to follow.

Career Opportunities for an Archivist:

Archivist can opt for various fields of work in the companies listed below:

RajaRajeswari Group of Institutions Foursis Technical Solutions CT Group of Institutions
BACET Leading Technology Centre The Caravan
IQVIA Navitas Life Sciences SAP
Goa Public Service Commission

Colleges offering courses in Archiving :

Here is the list of colleges offering the Best courses after 12th:

Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu
Gandhigram Rural Institute, Gandhigram Osmania University, Hyderabad
Pondicherry University, Pondicherry Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University, Ajmer
School of Archival Studies, New Delhi Isabella Thoburn Degree College, Lucknow
Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal

End Note

Starting a career as an archivist is a journey into the heart of history. With the right education and skills, you can become a guardian of our past. For Career counselling and guidance, reach out to SetMyCareer to connect with our experts and begin your path toward a fulfilling career in archiving. SetMyCareer is here to support you in achieving your professional aspirations.