Library, Archive and Documentation Jobs

In general, the work of archivists, librarians or documentalists is aimed at preparing and evaluating different media, managing and maintaining them, and making them available for use by others.
However, not only archives and libraries have to categorize their collections, but also other institutions like media companies, museums, churches or public authorities, which results in a great variety of possible fields of activity. The type of media to be managed also varies greatly and ranges from books, journals, manuscripts and files to electronic resources such as video and audio documents.
In addition to the maintenance of collections, the work in archives and libraries also includes organizational or administrative tasks, the digitization of media, or research activities. In the context of digitalization, text and data mining procedures assisted by artificial intelligence for the automated evaluation and categorization of media are also gaining in importance, meaning that IT applications are now part of the basic know-how of the profession and many hybrid activities combining IT development and archiving are also emerging. Advising and supporting users of the respective facilities is another important aspect. Archivists (or librarians) will provide the necessary media and are available to answer questions and clarify matters.

There are several possibilities to start a career in this field after graduation – but in general, an additional qualification or further training is almost always necessary.
For example, after your studies, you can complete training as an archivist at the archive school in Marburg for higher or upper-level archival service. The training is provided by the training archives of the Federal and State Archives.
As an alternative, a postgraduate degree program in library, documentation or information sciences is also possible. Some universities and universities of applied sciences offer a suitable bachelor's or master's degree program, both full-time and part-time, with higher training fees being charged in some cases.
Another option for the beginning of a career in this field is to work as a scientific documentalist. The main task of scientific documentalists is to research and prepare scientific information and content and to organize it in databases. This qualification also requires a specialized university degree. In some cases, the same access requirements apply as in archive or library services, but volunteer work or traineeships are also frequently offered by prospective employers. The training usually takes two years and – in contrast to the (postgraduate) bachelor's and master's degree programs – you will be paid.

Fabian Fürste

Fabian Fürste

works in the “Online Services and IT Development” department in the University Library of the TU Berlin

Typical tasks

Possible places of employment

Sources and further information on the profession