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What should be the qualifications for digital archivist jobs?

+3 votes

I'm increasingly seeing listings for "Digital Archivists" at a range of cultural heritage organizations and many of them look very different from each other.

As academic programs increasingly try to prepare students for careers as digital archivists it would be helpful to have a sense of what the qualifications they should be developing are. With that said, I've seen listings for digital archivists that:

So, what should the general qualifications for a digital archivist job be in terms of training, credentials and technical chops?

asked Dec 2, 2013 by tjowens (2,360 points)

1 Answer

+4 votes

This was discussed recently on twitter. An answer that came through strongly was that Digital Archivist roles shouldn't exist. Instead archivist roles should include digital capabilities and functions. 

I suspect there will be a transition period before we can reach that goal (assuming we want to). In the interim some things that might be useful qualifications for digital archivists would be:

  • Scripting/programming ability
  • Experience using, developing, documenting or troubleshooting open source software
  • Experience with obsolete software and hardware
  • Comfort with metadata and detailed structured documentation
  • Ability to communicate the value of digital preservation/digital archiving
  • Experience migrating data
  • Experience performing database migration
  • Master data management experience
  • Business Intelligence experience/reporting
  • Experience with virtualization (or emulation)
  • Experience with digital forensics
  • Experience with programmatic pattern matching
  • Interest in old digital content


answered May 21, 2014 by euanc (3,910 points)
edited May 21, 2014 by euanc
And of course its essential that the interim digital archivist understands archival theory and practice.