n.AR-kə-vəst, less commonlyar-KIGH-vista professional with expertise in the management of records of enduring valueLeland 1941a, 1The American archivist is a scholar, an expert technician skilled in the arts of his profession, and a public administrator.Lokke 1942, 75If the first duty of the archivist is to preserve and protect the records under his care, the second duty is to describe the records in such wise that they can be used, to provide them with suitable finding mediums.Norton 1953, 139Even today there are archivists who maintain that records management is a separate profession, that the archivist is a conservator—not a destroyer—of records, and that once more this function of preservation will be recognized as his true work.Browne 1953, 214It has only been in recent years that the archivist as a professional servant of an institution of higher learning has come into his own.Parker 1953, 237Part of the responsibility of the archivist is the evaluation of materials. It takes long research to establish the authenticity of documents, variant versions, and downright fabrications.Maclean 1959, 389I agree that the archivist should, except in rare cases, have attained a suitable academic degree at the time he enters the profession and that he may well supplement that degree with further studies. But it seems to me to be crucial that if the archivist’s profession is to be a separate profession there must be some basic professional knowledge that is, particularly, the province of the archivist.Maclean 1959, 416–417To the question—“What is the archivist’s profession?”—I should answer that the archivist is anyone who, by reason of his general understanding of the theory and practice of recordkeeping and his particular expert knowledge of the systems in use in the periods with which he is concerned, is qualified to make decisions or give advice that will substantially affect the quality and safety of the records of the organization or organizations for which he is directly or indirectly responsible.Mitchell 1961, 265The interests of the records manager are somewhat broader than those of the archivist, but since we exert an influence upon the permanent documentation in which the archivist is interested we must concern ourselves with that type of material when we develop and establish our various programs. Archivists, for their part, must accept the fact that records management will determine to a considerable extent the type of material to constitute the permanent documentation with which the archival profession is concerned and should work closely with records managers to protect that documentation.Lamb 1966, 3All professions involve occupational hazards of one kind or another, and some of those that the archivist faces are well known to us.Sward 1966, 69Since records keeping is only one of the functions of records management but is the essence of archival work, it follows that archival work is subordinate to records management and, therefore, that an archivist is subordinate to a records manager. I venture to say that all the records managers present would like that arrangement—but very few of the archivists.Breck 1966, 180The problem raised here, then, is to discover what program of studies would be best suited to the education of the archivist in this limited sense of the professional administrator of an archival collection or a member of the professional staff.Delgado 1971, 46Mr. [Daniel J.] Boorstin spoke briefly on the changes in the conception of the archivist’s role; at present the archivist is the true historian, the one who assembles the raw materials of history. He urged archivists to free themselves from the prevailing fondness of academic historians for political history, classic controversies, and the eccentric rather than the central. As a professional task for the bicentennial of the American Revolution, Mr. Boorstin suggested that the SAA compile an inventory of the total documentation on American life.McKay 1978, 287Until the profession feels comfortable with random sample weeding, the archivist with the subject knowledge and the experience with this sort of collection can examine the 80 percent discards and selectively retain atypical or significant items for permanent retention.Pugh 1982, 42Inventories, which should be the major intellectual accomplishment of our profession, are too often merely lists of container and the headings. In the agency history or the biographical sketch, in the scope and content note, in the subgroup or series description, the archivist has the opportunity and the obligation to analyze in some detail the content and potential use of the records as well as the function and composition of records.Berner 1982a, 170In an institution that has an archives but no records management program, the archivist should seek to establish records management, preferably under archival control, so that a layer of administration is not imposed between the archivist and the records.Brichford 1988, 108Archivists establish archives, authenticate, appraise, arrange, describe, protect, and provide information. Like colleagues in other professions, they also plan, organize, staff, direct, control, budget, and audit.Daniels 1996, 9Could it be then that the common interest that unites archivists is not management of information but, instead, management of documents, the tangible objects that hold so much valuable information? ¶ Again, the answer is yes, but only in part.Livelton 1996, 67All these differences reflect Schellenberg’s effort to define the archivist as the professional who selects documents used for administrative purposes and preserves them, mainly for scholarly use.Schellenberg 1996, 30The archivist is usually an historian by training, and, as a matter of course, will preserve records containing evidence of the development of the government and the nation that is valuable for historical research.Hodson 2004, 194When administering collections of modern personal papers, archivists must deal with the competing ethics of promoting free and open access to the material while ensuring that the privacy of those represented in the collections is not violated.Johnson and Duff 2005, 113This article suggests that historical researchers deliberately establish relationships with archivists to tap into their in-depth knowledge about archival resources. The relationship with the archivist is the social capital of historical researchers because through it they are able to gain access to this specialized knowledge.Riley and Shepherd 2009, 91Archivists have joined together to develop and revise community-based standards for finding aids to promote better discovery and delivery of archival descriptions to end users.Mariz et al. 2011, 107Ultimately, it is important for our profession, and perhaps even for our society, that we, as archivists, take responsibility for developing our leadership potential.Cook 2011a, 602New programs for graduate education in archival studies inaugurated in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s both reflect and encourage this disciplinary expansion; their master’s degrees have since become the de facto entry-level requirement for employment as professional archivists in most archival institutions in the country.Buchanan et al. 2017, 281Our data suggest that effective communication and advocacy skills are essential for archivists.DACS 2019, xivArchivists expose contextual significance by describing records, agents, activities, and the relationships between them.Faulder and Jackson 2022, 146Archivists have spent the past several decades seeking solutions for managing born-digital collection materials.Greenwood 2022, 288A macro-to-micro analysis of archival work during the pandemic can also help archivists reevaluate their current methods and consider other ways to collect, evaluate, curate, and preserve history for posterity in times of crisis.an individual responsible for records of enduring valuePosner 1940a, 172We may assume that gradually the archivists will become the nations’ experts who must be consulted in all questions of public record making and record keeping and likewise become the trustees who will safeguard the written monuments of the past, of the present day, and of the future.Hill 1943, 210ARCHIVIST, n.s. (Ger., archivar; Sp., archivero). Keeper of records or documents; director or technical employee of an archive.Gordon 1963, 19More than often no suitable replacement can be found, perhaps because of a temporary lack of interest in things historical, sometimes because the office of the archivist is honorary and carries no remuneration. There is abundant evidence of local societies’ being virtually carried, as it were, on the shoulders of a single public-spirited person.Dearstyne 1993, 102The small percentage designated for continuing preservation is eventually transferred to the care of the archivist or otherwise designated for special attention on a continuing basis.Norton 2003, 53As custodian of records of enduring value, the archivist must not only furnish suitable housing facilities for such records as other departments are willing to relinquish to his custody, but he must also be vigilant to forestall destruction of other records of permanent or historical value.Cappon 2004, 79As the crucial test of historical projects concerned with preservation and accessibility of primary sources is their enduring value, so the assessment or reassessment of them is the task of successive archivists in relation to their own programs, inevitably influenced by the work of their predecessors.Cappon 2004, 109In the good old days, when life was simpler and stenographers were fewer, the archivist accepted the whole fruit with the core of essential records for permanent preservation.Choksy 2006, 144Archivists are understandably concerned with what they call “recordkeeping” because the records with which they deal typically have retentions of forever.Millar 2010, 46In performing these tasks, the archivist is serving as a trusted custodian—a steward—of society’s documentary memory. . . . While the archivist must balance institutional responsibilities with public duties, in the ideal world the archivist is not just a records administrator but rather an auditor, protector, historian and advocate on behalf of archives and the society represented by those archives.Stevens, Flinn, and Shepherd 2010, 62As part of this process, the relationship between independent community‐based archivists and their colleagues in the heritage ‘mainstream’ was also documented. This article therefore draws on the research team’s discussions of the experience of collaboration with archivists in both sectors and, where possible, work alongside community archivists in a volunteer role as they engaged with their professional colleagues.Purcell 2015, 21, fn. 1Likewise, in this book the term “archivist” refers to a broad group of professionals who work within archives programs, not just professionally trained archivists.(capitalized and usually preceded by the) the chief official responsible for the archives program of a nation, state, territory, or institutionKimberly 1938, 111The Division of Repair and Preservation of the National Archives is charged with the preservation of all records in the custody of the Archivist of the United States.Buck 1947, 15–16The first intimation I received that the Secretariat had interested itself in the matter of archives was a letter, dated July 25, 1946, from Dr. Arvid Pardo, “Acting Archivist of the United Nations,” in which he announced his intention of visiting me and the National Archives the following week.Halliday 1950, 104These contained a paragraph requiring retention of documents of continuing historical value and prior reference to the Dominion Archivist of intention to destroy certain classes of documents.Grover 1951, 4The Archivist is charged, professionally as an archivist and legally as a Government official, with the selection and preservation of the enduring archives of the Federal Government.Leland 1953, 46In 1903 he joined with other members of the recently formed State Literary and Historical Association in bringing about the organization of the North Carolina Historical Commission, a step which started him along the long road that led in time to this building and to the post of Archivist of the United States.Burke 1959, 276When the Union of South Africa first appointed a Chief Archivist he was sent on a tour of Europe and North America.Burke 1959, 291The Archivist is charged with the usual duties in regard to custody, preservation, arrangement, repair, and rehabilitation, and specifically with publication, exhibition, description, and the production of finding aids. He may also acquire such documents or historical material as he thinks necessary, either by gift or by purchase.Burke 1959, 293The Chief Archivist of New Zealand has unusually wide though definite powers. In addition to those that flow from the ordinary control of his department he may demand that a private person in possession of a public archive hand it over to the National Archives. He may inspect any public records or public archives in the possession of departments and issue “instructions as to their safe preservation and such advice as to their efficient and economical administration and management as he considers necessary.” This power must take him intimately into the field of office administration, into “Organisation and Methods,” and it shows the ultimate extension of the Archivist’s duties toward Government paperwork. He can only give advice, however; and like all advice it can be heard, noted, and ignored.Brown 1963, 356Applications for authorization to destroy records or to transfer records to the State Archives are reviewed by the Archivist and sent by him, with appropriate recommendations, to the commissioners for approval.Morales 1963, 382The General Archives now has in its care about 11,700 cubic feet of documents. When its permanent building is ready for use, its accessions will be considerably increased. The Archivist has also authorized the destruction of some 58,000 cubic feet of extra copies and other useless papers.Schellenberg 1966, 391Trinidad and Tobago. In 1958 Clinton V. Black and T. R. Schellenberg surveyed the archival situation in these islands and wrote a report, The Archives of Trinidad and Tobago. The recommendations of this report have not yet been fully implemented: an archivist has been appointed, but no facilities have been provided for the storage of records. The Archivist is promoting a plan whereby noncurrent records will be arranged and stored by officials of various Government departments, each of which is to provide its own repository.McCoy 1974, 399There were also some politicians who viewed the National Archives as a rich source of patronage because of the many appointments that the Archivist would control.Ross 1983, 266While in North Carolina on his survey, Leland first met Robert Digges Wimberly Connor, the man who was to become the first Archivist of the United States.Wilson, Wallot, and Atherton 1999, 178In the fall of 1934, Dr. Lamb commenced his dual career as librarian and archivist as Provincial Librarian and Archivist of British Columbia, while in 1936, he was appointed to the additional position of Superintendent and Secretary for the Provincial Public Library Commission.Blouin 2007b, 407In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Dr. Warner as sixth Archivist of the United States.LitvakSIG 2022The Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania is a government agency, which participates in the shaping of national policy in the field of management and use of documents and archives, as well as implements this policy, supports the Chief Archivist of Lithuania in the carrying-out of state administration of the field of documents and archives.
Archivists’ activities typically include appraisal, acquisition, description, preservation, and the provision of access to records of enduring value and/or management of an archival repository. Professional archivists adhere to the principles of respect de fonds, original order, and collective control with the goal of maintaining records’ context and authenticity.