Digital Archivist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a digital archivist. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a digital archivist.
Who is a Digital Archivist?
A digital archivist organizes and stores digital resources for later use or works to preserve historical papers and materials.
Digital Archivist Job Description
Below are the digital archivist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a digital archivist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Investigate sources, such as maps, movies, papers, and paintings, and examine their veracity, appearance, and historical substance.
- Keep collections well preserved.
- Construct and keep up organizational systems.
- Create indexes, meta tags, and material descriptions, then digitize the content.
- Oversee the risk imaging and digital forensics efforts for an organization.
- Create imaging processes for all types of digital media.
- Work with other archivists to develop protocols for appraisal and disposition of images and to specify criteria for picture disposal.
- Create a workflow across campus and library units and document it.
- Develop strategies for long-term digitized, born-digital, and conventional institutional asset preservation, organization, distribution, and retrieval.
- Create, plan, and execute initiatives for processing and archiving.
- Use currently available digital forensic techniques, organize, catalog, and categorize existing digital and born-digital resources.
- Participate in the conversion of the library’s analog to digital holdings.
- Recognize and catalog all tangible digital media in the collection.
- Work with the necessary library experts to coordinate web archiving programs.
- Education: A graduate degree in history (or a closely related field) or a Master’s in Library Science (MLS) from an American Library Association (ALA) recognized school is necessary. There is a significant requirement for graduate-level training in archive administration and theory.
- Experience: two years’ minimum experience in handling digital archive collections, including knowledge of metadata creation, digitalization, and born-digital material maintenance.
- Skills: Effective verbal, written, and interpersonal communication abilities are needed. Knowledge of cataloging, different computer programs, and creating metadata descriptions are necessary. It is necessary to be able to learn about, appreciate, and interact with people from different backgrounds or cultures. It is desired that candidates have supervisory and outreach activity experience.
- Outstanding analytical abilities: A digital archivist must be able to assess the significance, provenance, and history of the materials they work with in order to decide which should be kept.
- IT competency: Computer literacy is essential for an archivist since they must access databases and other electronic management tools.
- Strong communication abilities: Digital archivists communicate verbally and in writing to share knowledge, respond to inquiries, and work with others. They also need to be able to express themselves properly in writing so they can keep thorough records of their work and instruct other employees on how to do things. With the help of strong communication skills, digital archivists can communicate with clients and users at the library or archive where they work.
- Competence in web archiving: Saving and storing online pages is a part of web archiving. This ability is used by digital archivists to guarantee that they have all the data required for their work. Thanks to web archiving as well, digital archivists can locate material quickly when customers ask for it. Digital archivists need to save websites before they disappear, so this ability is crucial because websites change frequently.
- Technical expertise: A lot of historical material needs to be examined and maintained; to do this, the proper chemicals and methods must be used depending on the type of material, such as a painting, document, piece of pottery, or piece of clothing.
- Skills in project management: To plan, oversee, and complete projects, digital archivists use project management techniques. These abilities could come in handy when helping clients decide what kinds of digital documents to archive and how long it would take to handle the files. Assigning duties to team members and developing deadlines for each stage of a project are other ways that digital archivists manage their own work.
- Effective Time Management Skills: Time management is the capacity to schedule and carry out work in a way that guarantees you will meet deadlines. Because they frequently deal with vast amounts of data, digital archivists must be able to prioritize their work and predict how long particular tasks will take. This ability also aids digital archivists in time management during meetings or presentations where they must swiftly explain intricate subjects.
- Expertise Knowledge in Information architecture: The process of arranging and organising information to make it simple for users to find is known as information architecture. This ability is used by digital archivists when generating metadata, which is a collection of data that explains other data. For instance, if an archivist were to develop metadata about a book, they may add information such as the author’s name, the book’s title, the year it was published, and the topic. Users can use this to look for books by author or topic.
- A keen focus on details: When working with digital documents, digital archivists need to be able to pay meticulous attention to detail. They must make sure they are correctly classifying, archiving, and retrieving the appropriate files for their clients. They must be quite knowledgeable about utilizing different file types and operating systems for this. They must also be extremely accurate when entering metadata into their database system so that they can locate the files once more if necessary.
- Good record-keeping abilities: In order to preserve the integrity of the digital assets used by their business, digital archivists apply records management expertise. They make sure that every file is correctly labeled and organized so that it is simple to locate it when needed. This lowers the possibility of data loss and guarantees that staff can immediately access crucial papers. In order to restore data in the event that it is corrupted or mistakenly lost, digital archivists also use records management expertise to back up their digital archives.
- Strong problem-solving abilities: Having the capacity to recognize and address problems is called problem solving. You might have to address issues that come up during data management or preservation procedures as a digital archivist. For instance, if a computer or other electronic equipment has problems transferring files, you can try looking out alternatives online or consulting with coworkers.
- Knowledge of Content Migration: Data migration techniques are used by digital archivists to transfer information between systems. Understanding how various computer systems are built and how they store data is necessary for this. It also needs to know how to access ancient files that might be kept on antiquated hardware or in outdated file formats. A significant portion of digital archiving involves content transfer, so it’s critical for digital archivists to be proficient in this area. These abilities can be acquired through professional development programs, independent study, or collaboration with an accomplished digital archivist.
- Understanding of archival theory: The knowledge and abilities required to locate, safeguard, and arrange digital information are known as archival theory. When creating metadata for files and folders so that others can find them afterwards, digital archivists employ this talent. They also use it to decide what format to save things in and how long to keep particular files. For instance, some businesses can mandate that all emails be kept on file for seven years after a worker leaves their position.
- Skills in data management: Data management skills are used by digital archivists to guarantee that the files they handle are correctly archived and arranged. Creating metadata, which includes facts about a file’s contents, location, and other elements that can help you discover it later, is necessary to accomplish this. Additionally, it entails knowing how to save things on servers or in cloud storage so that others can access them if necessary.
- Knowledge of Library Science: The knowledge and abilities required to run a library are known as library science. When creating metadata, which is information about digital files that includes specifics like file name, creation date, author, and subject matter, digital archivists apply this talent. Users can use this to look for particular file types or find files by topic. To make it simple for users to discover what they need, digital archivists might arrange their archives with the aid of library science.
- A working knowledge of metadata standards: The details that describe a digital file, such as its name, creation date, and location, are known as metadata. Metadata is used by digital archivists to classify files and make sure they can be located afterwards. As they archive new files, they also add metadata so that others can quickly find them in the future.
- Familiarity with digital preservation: To make sure that the materials they preserve stay secure and accessible, digital archivists use digital preservation techniques. This entails detecting dangers that can compromise the integrity of archived materials, such as fire or water damage. Additionally, it entails regularly backing up data so that you may restore a faulty file from an earlier copy.
- Networking Techniques: Networking is the practice that promotes communication and the exchange of ideas between people or organizations with similar interests. A digital archivist must create policies and procedures that govern networking in order to build professional relationships that will improve future business and employment prospects. These contacts must be made on a regular basis in order to build trust and cultivate a select group of quality relationships.
- Innovation and creativity: The ability to perceive the world differently, spot hidden patterns, draw connections between seemingly unconnected phenomena, and come up with solutions are all characteristics of creativity, which is the ability to bring original and inventive ideas into reality. In order to call attention to what was previously concealed and point to a new life that will advance the company to new heights, a digital archivist must be able to think, then repeat ideas, and act on them.
- Flexibility: Flexibility is a crucial trait that enables both employers and employees to agree on how to preserve a work-life balance, which aids organizations in increasing production and efficiency. Incorporating flexible working arrangements and individual flexibility agreements that permit negotiation to change how specific agreements apply to them and how they may be adjusted, a digital archivist must come up with innovative ways to establish flexible schedules for all of his employees.
- Potential for Advancement: The capacity for advancement is the capacity to improve something by being more proficient, effective, and beneficial to produce excellent results. Because it puts them in a position to show how well they can execute their duties through incentives and feedback that are crucial to the employee’s performance, a digital archivist must invest in his staff by providing opportunities for personal growth that foster higher job performance.
- Having a project and goal-focused mindset: The Mission and Project Setting your heart and attention on things that matter and provide value to your life, as opposed to those that add little to no worth at all, is called focusing. A digital archivist should be aware of potential distractions early on and be able to inspire the team to accomplish the projects on time and in good shape.
- Awareness of business trends: Commercial Trend The ability to be conscious of how businesses are evolving in the marketplace is known as awareness. A digital archivist should be knowledgeable about emerging business trends that he can start or follow, as well as how they affect the choices being made that will ultimately benefit the company’s workers and its bottom line.
- Process Improvement: The goal of process improvement is to develop new processes or enhance current ones so that they function better and advance your business. A digital archivist must maintain ongoing workplace improvements that are advantageous to the company’s stockholders, investors, and potential investors while utilizing techniques that can serve as the basis for future business decisions that will result in a successful expansion.
- Knowledge of technology trends: Being knowledgeable about emerging technology trends that can help your company run more smoothly and effectively is called “technology trend awareness. A digital archivist needs to be able to look back on the challenges and successes of the business and think about new possibilities for the future by using technology in search of a better, faster, more useful strategy that can boost productivity.
How to Become a Digital Archivist
- Earn a bachelor’s degree: The first and most important step in learning how to become an archivist is to educate oneself. For archivists, a four-year undergraduate degree is necessary. A bachelor’s degree in library science or archival science is excellent for an archivist. On the other hand, archivists may possess bachelor’s degrees in fields like physics, art, or history. Archivists might benefit from coursework, minors, concentrations, and specializations in archival studies to better grasp the subject.
While attending college, you might want to take advantage of volunteer opportunities. One way to gain practical experience in the field of archivists is to volunteer at a museum or library. Your museum archivist education will impress potential employers when they read your curriculum vitae. Aspiring archivists should take advantage of this chance to familiarize themselves with the necessary technology. You could learn archive software and enroll in optional computer courses. This knowledge is crucial if you want to learn how to become a digital archivist. Given the significance of computers in archival work, archivists who are familiar with them may have a better outlook on their professional futures.
- Consider earning a master’s degree in archivist studies: The question of what degree is necessary to work as an archivist is a challenging one. For some positions, a bachelor’s degree may be sufficient, but many employers favor archivists with master’s degrees. At the graduate level, many universities offer master’s degrees in archival studies, which can enable students to concentrate their studies on particular areas of archival studies, such as protecting and dealing with film or paper.
Participate in an archival internship. This enables students to obtain practical archival training while also enabling aspiring archivists to put their classroom knowledge into practice and develop important networking relationships. Additionally, an internship can help you build your resume by adding relevant work experience that will make you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.
- Get Voluntary Certification: Although it is not a requirement to become an archivist, this stage is very important. The Academy of Certified Archivists’ optional accreditation is preferred by many businesses for archivists. For the title of Certified Archivist, you must possess a master’s degree in archive studies, have one year of professional experience, and pass a written test. A master’s degree in a subject other than archival studies and two years of practical experience is necessary. Every five years, certified archivists must renew their status.
- Find opportunities for advancement: Attending workshops, gatherings, and conferences offered by historical organizations and archive organizations helps archivists stay up to date in their field. While some archivists may be promoted to managerial or supervisory positions at larger archives, archivists generally have few possibilities for career progression. Particularly in state archives, archivists can rise to director positions by earning a Ph.D.
- Continue your education beyond your academic career: There are many different possibilities for archivists to continue their education, such as workshops, classes, and individual research. Continuing education can help archivists advance their careers by keeping them abreast of market developments and challenges.
Additionally, you ought to think about joining a professional association like the Society of American Archivists. This can offer an archivist a range of resources that can aid in career advancements, including chances for continuing education, access to scholarly journals, an invitation to an annual convention for archivists, and networking possibilities.
Where to Work as a Digital Archivist
- Government institutions
Digital Archivist Salary Scale
The median pay for digital archivists is $48,400 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Depending on the organization’s size and location, digital archivist wages might range from $27,190 to $86,480.
In the UK, the average salary for a digital archivist is £34,997 per year or £17 per hour. A digital archivist can expect to make between £24,953 and £42,277 per year on average. The highest level of education often required for a position as a digital archivist is a bachelor’s degree. This examination of remuneration is based on salary survey data gathered from anonymous employees and employers in the United Kingdom.