Archivist Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | September 8, 2023
Archivist Job description
Archivists help in preserving past records for future needs.

Archivist Job description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

This post provides exhaustive information on the job description of an archivist, to help you learn about the work they do.

It provides the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that commonly make up the archivist work description.

It also shows the major requirements that you may be expected to meet if you are seeking for employment as an archivist.

Please, continue reading to improve your knowledge of the archivist career:

What Does an Archivist Do?

Archivists are responsible for collection, preservation, care, and management of records and documents that are intended to preserve the past for the benefit of future purposes.

They are responsible for cataloguing and managing valuable collections that have deep historical values.

They are also responsible for selecting, retrieving, and managing various materials for the sake of preservation.

Archivists also help to answer people who enquire or need information about their collections.

They produce teaching materials to pass knowledge about historical collections to people who come to see these collections.

The archivist duties also involve coordinating the various personals and partnering institutions that work with museums and art collectors to ensure the effective running of programs in their various offices.

They are responsible for making archives and historical collections accessible to a wide variety of people.

They also store and preserve perishable documents.

Archivists analyze a wide range of materials such as documents, painting, films, maps, videos, etc. to examine their physical condition, authenticity, and historical context.

They are responsible for negotiating the accusation of new collection from prospective sellers.

The archivist job description also includes identifying and bidding for funding from various private and public organizations.

They supervise staff and budgets also.

They organize public events such as talks and exhibitions and interact with people during this invent to share information covering historical collections.

They also curate materials to be featured in publications.

They maintain and design organizational technique to ensure that all archive materials can be easily traced and identified.

These include developing metadata, preparing indexes, etc.

Archivist generally collect vital and perishable information such as records and documents and preserve them as a collection in a conducive and favorable environment that will cause little or no harm to the intended documents to be preserved.

Their responsibilities also include promoting the preserved content to make it accessible to the public.

Some of the major employers of archivist are universities, charities, libraries, public record offices, local, and central government, museums, and religious institutions.

Archivist Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The major task, duties, and responsibilities that typically make up the archivist job description include:

  • Collect, authenticate, and appraise historical documents and archival materials
  • Create and maintain archives for the collection for easy retrieval of information
  • Direct activities workers and staff who assist in cataloging and exhibition of archived materials
  • Preserve objects, documents, and records, and copying films and audio tapes to reliable formats
  • Research and record the historical significant, origin, and value of archival materials
  • Coordinate and organize events and program for public sensitization about collections such as workshops, lectures, exhibition, and classes
  • Establish protocols and public guideline towards accessing and using archive materials.
  • Discover and locate new materials and work towards their acquisition and display.

Archivist Job Description for Resume

If you are making a resume or CV for an archivist position and have gained some experience working as one, you should add the professional experience section to your resume.

With the professional or work experience section of your resume, you have the opportunity to let the employer/recruiter know that you have been successful performing the job of an archivist by highlighting the duties and responsibilities that you carried out.

By having the professional experience section, your resume stands a better chance of winning you the job, especially if the new job that you are seeking requires the archivist work experience.

You can apply the sample archivist job description above in making your resume’s professional experience section.

Archivist Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success

If you are seeking the job of an archivist, here are major requirements most recruiters/employers may want you to meet to be hired:

  • Education: Archivists mostly need a degree in history, archival science, library science, law, or related fields. A certification from academy of archivist is also an added advantage, as it can serve as prove of professional engagement.
  • Research Skill: Archivists are required to have a high level of research skill that will enable them carry out essential research about the origins and history of archival collections.
  • Organizational Skill: Archivists are required to possess great organizational skill as this will enable them manage museum’s collections effectively.
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills: They are required to have good communication skills as they will regularly deliver workshop and lecture keynotes about archival collections during arts and history events.
  • Inquisitive: To achieve a high success as an archivist requires individuals who are very much inquisitive and can dive into deep research about collections to find answers to questions.
  • Highly IT-literate: With recent advancement of technology, modern-day activist are required to be technology literate so as to be able to manage data base and computer-based catalogs, an excellent administrative skill, and computer data base IT skill is becoming highly essential for the job.
  • Able to work in a team: Archivists are required to be key team players as they will be working in both private and public fund raising institutions, as well as different individuals working under them.


This post is helpful to individuals looking to become an archivist and need to learn about the career, including the duties and responsibilities associated with the archivist role.

This piece if information will help them to make a better decision concerning getting into the archivist career.

The information in this post is also beneficially to recruiters/employers who are seeking competent archivists to hire.

They can use the archivist job description example above in making a detailed description of the available archivist position in their organizations to attract the best candidates for the position.