Careers in Archives

Archivists work in a wide range of institutions including libraries, museums, the government, religious institutions, and businesses. They may also specialize in certain areas such as digital archives, reference services, or processing collections. There are photo archivists, music archivists, sports archivists, and many other options for archivists to specialize in!


Many people interested in the field of archives go on to earn degrees in either Information & Library Science or in Public History. For those who pursue the Information & Library Science route, most programs offer either a certificate or a concentration in Archives Management.

In graduate programs, students will find that their classmates have a variety of undergraduate degrees. These include English, History, Political Science, Computer Science, and more. Research experience using primary and secondary sources is necessary in addition to writing and computer skills.

What do archivists do?

Arranging and Describing Materials

  • Inventory collections
  • Organize materials for research use
  • Write descriptions
  • Create catalog records


  • Scan photographs, documents, films, and other formats
  • Manage digital repositories
  • Web archiving


  • Exhibits
  • Social media
  • Manage acquisitions of new materials


  • Monitor temperature and humidity
  • Improve storage conditions (such as boxes and folders) of materials


  • Answer questions from researchers
  • Provide relevant materials to researchers