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1mrsradcliffe
Aug 24, 2007, 7:40am

Hi everyone, I'm currently studying my MSc to become a librarian and am very interested in cataloguing and classification, in order to unite people with information and also as I get a kick out of the organisation itself!
I used to lean towards rare books librarianship, now I am excited by cataloguing, but I am also attracted to archives.
What I'm asking you all is, what attracted you to archives over libraries? I did some work experience in an archive and the thing that put me off was not enough immediate contact, but I'm not really sure now! Any thoughts would be hugely welcome!

2Shrike58
Aug 26, 2007, 12:22pm

In my case it was very simple; I needed work, I had friends at the Archives, they got me in the door.

My academic and work background to that point had nothing to do with libraries or archives.

3kicking_k
Aug 27, 2007, 8:20pm

Well, I was a Shakespeare scholar who had rapidly come to the conclusion that I was a terrible researcher.

During my MA, I had been studying facsimiles of old letters and account books, and realised that I was enjoying working with the documents much more than I enjoyed writing about the plays. (I still love Renaissance drama, but I've come to realise that I'd rather watch it than write about it.)

I came home and spent some time wondering what to do next, and then a friend of my mum's suggested archives, and it seemed like a really good idea... and here I am. I don't think I knew "archivist" was a profession prior to that point, though.

If you like contact with the public, mrsradcliffe, any of the archives I've worked in would greet you with a glad cry...

4Shrike58
Aug 28, 2007, 8:24am

"Stack rats" and the public don't mix!

Frankly, my background in warehousing and public contact have been more relevant than any academic preperation I had. The discipline-specific knowlege I picked up on the job.

5alabaster
Sep 8, 2007, 7:16pm

I started out in a library but was lured to the dark side ;) I was lucky - I got a great job in a place that has huge variety in the work that I do, and opportunities to branch out. I found that the library I was working in didn't really have many opportunities to 'go anywhere' or move up the ladder, it was hard to move beyond the issuing desk. I did enjoy working there though.

But now I'm a dedicated archivist and loving it!

6TLCrawford
Jan 6, 2009, 11:26am

I went back to school to finally earn my degree about a year and a half ago. Since then I have been plagued with people asking what I would do with my degree. Until now I told them I would still be doing the same job but now I have a better answer. Archivist.

Kicking-k said “If you like contact with the public, mrsradcliffe, any of the archives I've worked in would greet you with a glad cry...” I hate working with the public but I am really good at it and the other duties all sound like playtime to me. I am sure it is not always fun but after thirty years in auto repair it sure sounds that way to me.

On another thread somebody suggested volunteering time in an archive and my first thought was ‘Where?’ but that was quickly followed by ‘When?’. That idea clearly has to wait until I graduate or the dealership I work at goes out of business.

Another thread mentioned that archivists spend time telling each other annoying researcher stories, which brings me to why I was looking at the group in the first place. I am majoring in history and trying to research something on my own and in my free time. How can I avoid being one of those annoying researchers?

7aschmuland
Edited: Feb 2, 2009, 6:02pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

8laurian
Feb 4, 2009, 1:21pm

Hey guys! I am in between degrees right now. I plan to go back for my MS and I want to be an archivist.

I sort of realized my interest in archiving when I began to get into genealogy. I was learning about the need for certain records and documents. In the process I went down to one of the regional archives facilities with the National Archives and thought it would be a pretty neat place to work. Last spring I studied abroad and got to do an internship with the British National Archives. It was just so neat to be working with the documents and learning about the time period, the people and their lives. So that is basically what got me interested. Right now I'm volunteering at local libraries. I've been applying for jobs with the National Archives, but haven't found any luck yet.