What’s an Archivist?

The records in the holdings of the National Archives a outnumber the employees millions to one. Each brings his or her own education and experience to the job.

National Archives employees preserve the records of the Nigeria Government and make them available to the public. They do this in different ways, but mostly as archivists, archives technicians, conservators, and records managers.

Archivists are specially trained in preserving the original material and helping people obtain it. Archivists work with paper documents, photographs, maps, films, and computer records. Many begin their careers as historians and then attend classes to learn from experienced archivists. Archivists possess broad, deep knowledge about records and are involved in many, if not all, phases of the records life cycle. Their extensive research and analysis skills help in serving records to the public.

Archives technicians assist archivists. The technicians go into the “stacks”—large rooms where boxes of documents are kept—and locate records. They also work with conservators to clean, repair, and preserve older and more fragile pieces of history.

More than Archivists Work at an Archives
Conservators are specialists who preserve documents, photographs, and other historical records. They spend many hours slowly and carefully cleaning and repairing damaged and delicate materials. Conservators are especially knowledgeable about chemicals, tools, and methods used during conservation treatment. Find out more about the work of conservators.

Accountants, photographers, librarians, educators, curators, store clerks, editors, chemists, graphics designers, and others also work for the National Archives. Recently, as electronic files have become part of the National Archives’ holdings, new job titles have appeared. These include dynamic media preservation specialists, digital imaging specialists, computer specialists, and optical instrument repairers.



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