The study of archival science can be a lucrative as well as exciting career option. Know about the career options, opportunities, courses, and education to become an archivist in India.

Careers as an Archivist

As a storehouse of knowledge, archives have to be preserved and verified at regular intervals of time. The unique and valuable history can better be understood in context to the modern world through archives. To help in understanding the past records, professionals, known as archivists, are hired who exploit the archival heritage and convey the right information preserved by it to the world. As such, the main task of an archivist is to conserve, repair, rehabilitate, store, and handle the heritages scientifically. Besides, he/she also identifies and preserves a wide range of records, like historical letters, manuscripts, diaries, photographs, coins, maps, films, and video recordings by maintaining their originality. Today, almost every field needs an archivist to store its valuable records and documents in a professional manner. Out of the enormous distinct opportunities available to make a flourishing career in, one can opt for archival science and become a successful archivist.

Course Details
A graduate in history, political science, library science, public administration, and archival science can work as an archivist with archival coursework and some practical knowledge. The minimum qualification to get a bachelorís degree in aforementioned subjects is 10+2 pass. For some specialized courses, like science for reprography, students from science and medicinal background can also apply. On completing a bachelorís degree in archival science, one can further enroll in MA, M.Phil, and PhD programs in the same subject.

Certain institutions offer other courses, such as PG certificate in archives, PG diploma in archives keeping, PG diploma in archives, documentation, and management, PG diploma in archival Science and manuscriptology, and PG diploma in archival studies. Some short-term certificate courses in servicing & repair of records, reprography, and archives management are also conducted. The basic idea behind enrolling in such courses is to gain knowledge of basic archival theory, methods, and/or practice of appraisal, including records management, aspects of library and information science management, and historical and research methods. These days, most archivists acquire fundamental computer soft skills, like XML, to work as researchers online.

Career Prospects
Archivists can start their career in several archival government agencies and private authorities. They can also join commercial business groups, libraries, educational institutes, religious authorities, museums, hospitals, historical conservatories, and voluntary organizations, and draw handsome salary packages. Archivists with a PhD degree are offered higher ranked positions in educational institutes with faculty status. Those who have started their career in small-scale industries can eventually achieve long-term job stability and high levels of professional and personal satisfaction.

Top Colleges Offering UG/PG/Other Courses
Almost all major colleges, institutions, and universities running regular arts and humanities courses, offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs required to become an archivist. Apart from these, diploma, PG diploma, and certificate courses are offered at: Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad; Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu; Gandhigram Rural Institute, Gandhigram; Osmania University, Hyderabad; Pondicherry University, Pondicherry; Maharshi Dayanand Saraswathi University, Ajmer; and School of Archival Studies, New Delhi.

Pay packages offered to archivists differ largely, based on the nature of the employers. To start off with, an archivist can earn anywhere from Rs. 6000 to Rs. 8000 per month. With increase in experience, one can easily generate lakhs of rupees per annum.

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