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An Archivist surveying an unprocessed collection of materials. Surveying is commonly done to determine priorities for preservation and/or conservation of materials before an archivist begins arrangement and description.

An archivist is a professional who collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media (photographs, video or sound recordings, letters, documents, electronic records, etc.).

As Richard Pearce-Moses wrote, "Archivists keep records that have enduring value as reliable memories of the past, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records." [1]

Determining what records have enduring value is not always easy. Archivists must also select records valuable enough to justify the costs of storage and preservation, plus the labor-intensive expenses of arrangement, description, and reference service.[2] The theory and scholarly work underpinning archives practices is called archival science.

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Footnotes[change | change source]

  1. Pearce-Moses, Richard. "Identity and Diversity: What Is an Archivist?" Archival Outlook, March/April 2006.
  2. Hunter, Gregory (2003). Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc..

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