Discussion: Why you should get an archival certificate

Are you getting an archival certificate in addition to your MLIS?  If not, you may want to consider it! There are a number of reasons why getting an archival certificate may be a smart move.


Image from Wikimedia Commons

Image from Wikimedia Commons

One reason is that job postings for art librarians will sometimes include archival responsibilities in the job duties description.  In many art museums, the library and archive are treated more like a single research center.   Depending on the size and budgetary restrictions of the institution, the art librarian might be expected to take on the role of archivist as well.

I think it can be argued that having an archival background will help you to better meet the needs of researchers, curators, and other library users.  The papers of museum directors, curators, and other collections housed in museum archives are a treasure trove of information.  It is important to understand how to preserve and create access to these materials.

Another really good reason for getting an archival certificate is that it opens up the door for more job opportunities.  By being qualified to take on the title of both Librarian and Archivist, you are expanding your prospects for gaining employment.

For more information on the archival profession take a look of the Society of American Archivists website.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!!