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Communications of the ACM

ACM CareerNews

Digital Archivists, Now in Demand

Given the amount of content that still needs to be digitized — such as newspapers, court records and corporate documents — the role of the digital archivist is growing in importance and demand. After adapting non-digital content for computer databases, the digital archivist spearheads the process of arranging it alongside newer, digital material in a way that enables people to find what they need. Known also as digital asset managers and digital preservation officers, these digital archivists are finding positions in both the public and private sectors. Profiling a group of digital archivists at UCLA, the article highlights the changing roles, duties and dimensions of the position.

While familiarity with information technology is a prerequisite for the digital archivist job, most organizations that are hiring also want people with wider experience, such as knowledge related to digital copyright. As one expert points out, people with IT-only backgrounds tend to focus on storage solutions, rather than on making information more accessible. By some estimates, 20,000 people work in the field today, and that number could triple over the next decade. Many work for public institutions, but a growing number of businesses, including law firms, are employing them also.

From The New York Times
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