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Archival Science

Graphic element for the subject of HistoryArchive Studies is a young subject in higher education and is still closely linked to vocational training as an archivist. Archive Studies has a place in the traditions of both the humanities and IT. The archivist profession has long been related to the subject of history, from where many basic ideas about how archives should be organised originate.

About the subject

In-depth knowledge of social science and law are valuable for many archivists and there is a growing demand for archivists who have education in IT. The archivist profession is changing rapidly and, at a time in which society is becoming digitalised via the Internet and IT,  a new job title has begun winning ground: IT archivist.

Digital archives are increasingly important and demand radically new ideas about how an archivist should work. An IT archivist needs to acquire new skills and knowledge from cutting edge IT, but without losing the old knowledge of how paper is managed. An archivist has the particularly important task of preserving documents with an eye towards both the distant past and far into the future. An archive – both digital and on paper – is an important part of mankind's heritage, and the archivist must also remember that future generations should be able to access the knowledge that is created today.

Cultural heritage and history are also important fields for an archivist. Since the nineteenth century, the management and accessibility of archives have been adapted to the need to build a knowledge foundation for historical studies, and this is a task that is continuing into the age of the digital archive – with even greater relevancy. There have been loud, not unjustified, warnings about the digital black hole. Our collective memory and our history are things that are used – politically, existentially, commercially – and this use of history is something that has aroused greater academic interest in the humanities and in archive studies.

There are also tasks in addition to managing an archive's historic value. It is very common for archivists to have their tasks in 'growing' or 'living' archives in organisations, where an important function is making it easier for organisations to recover information. The overall task of public administration is to guarantee every citizen's right to access public documents and the right to integrity: sensitive information may not be disseminated to unauthorised persons.

A common way into the archivist profession has been to combine one to two semesters of Archive Studies as a complement to first-cycle education in another subject. Ordinarily, employers expect two semesters education in Archive Studies, either as part of a three-year academic degree (a Bachelor's or equivalent), or Archive Studies as further studies after a three-year degree. An archivist may benefit from other types of education in addition to Archive Studies. Education in the humanities is common.

Please note that all courses are given in Swedish.