The Profession

We have put together a list of replies to often asked queries about the Business Archives Council. The list has been separated into categories. If you should find that your question has not been answered here, please contact us.

  • I am interested in becoming an archivist. How can I become involved in archives?

    People who decide to become archivists come from all sorts of backgrounds and levels of experience but once they decide to become archivists most of them do so through the same route. The main route to becoming an archivist is through post graduate study, after a first degree. Archivists-to-be will have previously studied a range of subjects at university from classics, history of art, and literature to history and languages, although it is not common to find many people with science based degrees opting for a career in archives.

    It is normal (thought not essential) to pursue some pre-course training for a year after the first degree, or at least undertake some voluntary work in the archival field, to establish whether or not it is the sort of area you would like to pursue a career in. After this you usually apply for one of the post graduate courses offered in archive and records management studies at the University of Liverpool, University College London, University College Dublin, University of Glasgow, the University of Aberystwyth, the University of Northumbria, and the University of Dundee. These courses are very intense as you are expected to obtain a diploma or a Masters in only one year and as funding is not always available for everyone dedication is important from the outset.

    If you have been involved in archive work but have not had the opportunity to undertake the postgraduate course then the correspondence diploma run by the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) might be more suitable, especially if your employer is prepared to help finance you through the course. The Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) is the recognised professional body representing archivists, records managers and conservators in Great Britain. It is seen as important to become a member of this as soon as possible because it the main source of archival news and job advertisements! Contact the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland)for information on their diploma and more careers advice.

    The Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland)
    Prioryfield House, 20 Canon Street, Taunton, Somerset TA1 18W
    Tel: 01823 327030; Fax: 01823 271719

  • How can I become involved in the work of the Business Archives Council?

    For details of membership of the Council, please contact us.