The National Archives at Boston

What's an Archivist?

Archivists assess, record, file and store to maintain the holdings.

What's an Archivist?

An archivist is a trained professional whose job is to preserve, organize, and store historic records. And an archivist helps people find and use these records.

What's an Archives?

An archives is a place where historical records are saved. At the National Archives, we save America's official records so they don't get lost and so Americans can use them. Forever.

What Does an Archivist Do?

Archivists organize and analyze.

The archivists at the National Archives keep the permanent records of our country safe so that they'll last forever.

  • Organize them so that people can find what they need
  • Bring them out for people to see and use them
  • Fix them if they are falling apart
  • Scan them, so that they can be accessed electronically
  • Put them away carefully, so we can find them again easily
  • Store them in clean, safe conditions to preserve them

Archivists measure, count, and care.

Archivists index information into databases.

Archivists scan documents for digital access.

Archivists answer public inquiries.

Archivists research.

Archivists assist the public.

How Do You Become an Archivist?

Archivists work with children and teachers.

  • Spend time at your library. Libraries protect and organize their holdings and make them available to the public, just like an archives.

  • Try to volunteer or work at a library; it's very similar work.

  • Go to college. You might consider majoring in the arts and humanities such as history, English, or political science. Conservation/preservation requires strengths in science, especially chemistry. Your college will have an archives; get to know it!

  • Go to graduate school in archival studies with library science, public history, or history.

  • Do internships to find out what parts of the work you like best and to get to know various archives.

Archivists put records away safely.

Archivists laugh.

Archivists have millions of documents to take care of.

Archivists make presentations.

Are There Different Types of Archives?

Archivists manage the records to preserve our history.

There are lots of types of archives. Your own records-photos, souvenirs, report cards-constitute your personal archives.

  • Private, public, any place where history lives can have an archives. Even Harley-Davidson, the Red Sox, and Malto-Meal have archives.

For More Information, check out these links:

The National Archives at Boston >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272