Education and Training > Archivists > Overview

Archivists - Overview

Archivists preserve and control paper, film, and electronic records with historic value.

Archivists store information for preservation and future use. Archival records and papers are sometimes used for evidence in investigations. More often, archival records are used to preserve social and cultural memory.

Archival records and papers are recorded information that is usually many years old. The information may be recorded on paper, video, or electronically.

Archivists organize records and documents for easy access. They follow preservation techniques to keep the documents in good condition so they may be stored for hundreds of years. Archivists also transfer information from one medium to another. For example, archivists may transfer written information into a digital form. Archivists must be knowledgeable about copyright laws.

Archivists help people find and use archival documents. They teach people how to use databases and catalogs. Archivists direct people to the documents they need. They also teach people how to care for and organize their own documents.

Archivists study history so they will know which documents to save. Some archivists focus on a specific era. They keep informed on new ways to preserve data. They also look for new sources of archival materials that may have been previously overlooked.

Archivists work wherever it is important to keep records of people or organizations. They may work for:

  • Governments
  • Hospitals
  • Museums
  • Historical societies
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.