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What is Archives?

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Roselle Pendergast

on 8 February 2016

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Transcript of What is Archives?

"Archives are the non-current records of individuals, groups, institutions, and governments that contain information of enduring value. Formats represented in the modern archival repository include photographs, films, video and sound recordings, computer tapes, and video and optical disks, as well as the more traditional unpublished letters, diaries, and other manuscripts." (via http://www2.archivists.org/profession)
But...What do they do?
"The primary task of the archivist is to establish and maintain control, both physical and intellectual, over records of enduring value. Archivists select records, a process that requires an understanding of the historical context in which the records were created, the uses for which they were intended, and their relationships to other sources. The archivist then arranges and describes the records, in accordance with accepted standards and practices; ensures the long-term preservation of collections; assists researchers; and plans and directs exhibitions, publications, and other outreach programs to broaden the use of collections and enlist support for archival programs." (via http://www2.archivists.org/profession)
But...how is it different from being a librarian?
"[Both] collect, preserve, and make accessible materials for research; but significant differences exist in the way these materials are arranged, described, and used." (via http://www2.archivists.org/profession)

For an example, in a modern library, a book can be continuously checked out until it is worn out. The library can order another book to replace that worn out book. This is the opposite for an archival collection. A person can read a diary that is part of the collection but it cannot be replaced since it is one-of-a-kind.
Where do archivists work?
* Museums
* College libraries
* Libraries
* Private collections
* Special collections
* Businesses

Not an exclusive list!
Job Titles
* Archivist
* Records Manager
* Special Collections Manager
* Archives Specialist
* Metadata Archivist
* Media Archivist
* Research Scholar
* Architecture Archivist
AND lots more!
Ok, how is it different from being a historian?
The historian
archival records for research while the archivist identifies, preserves, and makes records accessible for use.
What is Archives?
Where can I find archives jobs?
Note, this is not an exclusive list, a search through a search engine can yield more!



After the readings, please go online to your favorite job hunting website and search for a job in the archives field. Post a PDF of an intriguing position onto the forums. Please discuss what intrigued you about that position and what an applicant can do to obtain the position (such as, experience, education, etc.)? Comment on at least two other postings.
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