Archives Director

Oversee an organization's collection of documents, photos, and other files.
picture of Archives Director

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$25,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Archives Directors do?

Imagine a job that allows you to satisfy your insatiable craving for antiquities and history. This is it. Archives Directors are in charge of collecting, reading, cataloguing, organizing, and preserving a wide array of one-of-a-kind historical documents, maps, film, digital records, and photographs.

You can work for a variety of organizations: museums, universities, institutes, state and local governments, the federal government, and even smaller organizations that focus on a particular person or place. Your daily tasks depend on the size of the organization that you work for.

Larger organizations such as the federal government will require that you play a more supervisory role—none of the grunt work but, instead, the joy of reviewing and processing information throughout your workday. If you’re the Archives Director of a smaller venue, you’re not likely to have the luxury of a mega team working underneath you—only one or two individuals at the most. This means that you will play a more hands-on role when it comes to researching, locating, and preserving documents and other materials, as well as helping individuals search through your archives.

As an Archives Director, you must be very knowledgeable about the particular area your archives cover. This is because you serve as a guide for individuals doing research on a particular topic. It’s your responsibility to not only provide them with a well-maintained archive, but to also help them sift through all that historical information.

Should I be an Archives Director?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Archives and Historical Documents Director, Archives and Rare Books Division Curator, Director of Archives

    How to become an Archives Director

    Most Archives Directors have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:acaj9a&chl=|certificate+%283%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2813%25%29|master%27s+%2884%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,84
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