Archival studies

Archival studies (AS) is increasingly connected to library education and knowledge management (KM) initiatives. The focus is on the management of records in paper and electronic formats through the use of recordkeeping systems for facilitating institutional recordkeeping, legal compliance, and decision making. The AS area includes the management of historical records in archives through the process of acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, and preservation, as well as the handling of active organizational records through records management (inventory, classification, and retention).

Suggested courses

  • GLIS 645 Course not available
  • GLIS 641 Course not available
  • GLIS 642 Course not available
  • GLIS 649 Course not available
  • GLIS 660 Course not available

Careers in Archival Studies/Records Management

Practice settings

Archivists and records managers work in various settings, ‎including cultural heritage institutions (archives, museums, historical societies, and special ‎libraries), records and information centers in government agencies, corporations, colleges and ‎universities, religious organizations, and non-profit organizations.

Primary responsibilities

Archivists and records managers manage records in both paper and electronic formats as ‎organizational memory and information assets through several activities. Archivists mainly deal ‎with historical records, and their activities include acquisition, appraisal, selection, arrangement, ‎description, conservation, and preservation. Records managers play their roles in the management ‎of forms, reports, correspondence, email and electronic records, workflow analysis, records center ‎operations, inventory, classification, filing, retention, and disposition. Archivists and records ‎managers develop and manage recordkeeping systems and provide access to records used for ‎organizational memory, strategic management, decision-making, research and development, and ‎legal compliance. ‎

Examples of job titles

  • Archivists
  • Preservation librarians
  • Special collections librarians
  • Manuscript curators
  • Records managers
  • Records analysts
  • Document managers
  • Forms managers
  • Reports managers
  • Computer system managers
  • Information managers
  • Records center supervisors
  • Digital resources managers


Potential employers

  • Archives
  • Museums
  • Historical societies
  • Special libraries
  • University archives
  • Special collections or rare books division in university libraries
  • Records centers or records management department in government agencies (e.g., Library and Archives of Canada, Canadian Heritage Information Network, Treasury Board of Canada)
  • IT companies
  • Financial institutions (e.g., banks, insurance companies)
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Law firms
  • School boards
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Religious organizations
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