Course:1: Archives and Archivists
Lesson:Lesson Five: What Is an Archivist?
Topic:Lesson Five Introduction

 Lesson Five: What is An Archivist?


In this, the final lesson of this course, we'll cover:

  • The training of an archivist
  • The primary tasks of an archivist
  • Differentiating an archivist's activities from professionals with similar tasks, such as historians, librarians, and museum curators.


Archivists have formal training and experience in the management of historical materials. They may have received a formal education in archival administration in an academic setting or formal training at a special archives institute or series of workshops. Other areas of formal study for archivists may include: library and information science, history, and public history.

To learn more about the full range of archival training available, visit the websites of AASLH and SAA (Society of American Archivists). State and regional organizations such as COSHRC (Council of State Historical Records Coordinators) also offer valuable resources.

Lesson Length icon

This lesson will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Definition icon

Archivist: A person with formal training and experience in the management of historical records.