Studies & Degrees in Archival Science
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A degree in Archival Science is ideal for those with passion for history and its preservation. The study involves knowing the safe storage, proper making of catalogues, and retrieval of vital documents and artifacts. It includes application of techniques in making documents intact and the development of new methods in case the previous process no longer works. With the widespread advancement of technology, the study also comprise the electronic and digital ways of keeping these files.
The traditional archival science focused on the climate-controlled storage of documents. How to catalogue and access files and items including their safe handling are key components of the study. Nowadays, digital filing and building up of electronic databases added up to the study methods. Although archival science is usually associated with libraries, museums, and historical societies, the field can also be useful for anyone who is maintaining a large private collection of business documents. This course can be obtained from colleges and universities and may generally be included under the Information Science or History programs.
Some professional societies like the Society of American Archivists (SAA) are continuously seeking effort to further develop this science. Some guidelines for graduate programs were published by the SAA in 2002 with the hope of being adopted by universities offering the course. With little success in standardizing the practice, the archivists at present have diverse methods of carrying out their tasks as they come from different museums, history centers, and libraries with each having their own systems.
Other duties of archivist may also incorporate the acquisition and appraisal of new collections, arrangement of records, and provision of references for each material. The work of ethics is also very important among archivists. They are expected to be extra caring and must be ready to assist visitors in the interpretation of collections and answering of questions. In bigger institutions, the archivists may be further broken down into subspecialties such as those having roles as processing archivists or as reference archivists.
Other working opportunities for archivists may be provided by government agencies, businesses, corporations, charities, local authorities, cultural centers, hospitals, colleges and universities, and other related institutions whose database may be of value for research.
A lot of Archival Science degree holders are educators and lecturers as well. Those in the cultural organizations commonly conceptualize and plan educational and outreach programs to help users in understanding and accessing information available in their collections. At some point, media coverage, exhibits, and promotional activities may be organized by them.
If you are interested to pursue a career in archival science, you must be tech-savvy to cope up with the application of encoded archival description and the demand to make the documents available online. Basic XML skills are now commonly acquired by those studying this course to improve technical proficiency. You must also work well with people and have the patience to deal with a lot of inquisitive researchers. You should be very logical and a highly organized individual to ensure you perform the sorting and listing of huge amount of files. It is expected that you are willing to learn the basic knowledge of storing and maintaining the cultural artifacts and documents. You must enjoy researching and be very knowledgeable about the collection as you are often regarded as the resource person of researchers.
If you think you would be fulfilled being an archivist, then you can check out the college and university programs, or the online courses that you would find more appropriate for you. Online courses are convenient, cost-effective, and can allow you to continue working while studying.