Why work in an archive?

Imagine a world without archives. We could not trace our ancestry, explore our collective and individual identities, or hold governments and organisations to account. The materials that archives hold challenge, inspire and transform what we think we know of times, events and people, past and present.

Archives Unlocked

David Heelas with his manager Ruth Loughrey speaking at the DPC un-conference 2018

David Heelas with his manager Ruth Loughrey speaking at the DPC un-conference 2018

As we move into the future, more and more archives and records are becoming born-digital in nature. The sector has identified key skills gaps in technical knowledge and experience that aren’t being fulfilled in many modern archives.

If you are considering a career in IT, here are four good reasons from David Heelas, Archives and Records Manager at Unilever Art, Archives and Records Management, on why you should take a look at the Bridging the Digital Gap technical traineeships which will help you develop the digital skills to build a rewarding career in archives.

  • Every day a new challenge: It sounds clichéd, but no two days will ever be the same. The variety and quantity of the material encountered mean there will never be a dull moment.
  • Tread new ground: Digital preservation is an ongoing process. New techniques and issues are constantly arising and evolving, requiring decision making at every step.
  • Preserving the past, present and the future: The work undertaken is to protect digital objects for the future. Without these steps these items will be lost forever!
  • Providing access: Just preserving the content isn’t enough, the whole purpose is to allow access. For digital material this opens exciting new opportunities and issues for showing off the incredible and unique material contained within archives.