I need to be more intentional about this semi-new archival path that I am on. It feels like I’m walking along and discovering things that happen to land in my path. I may eventually get to what I need in this haphazard fashion, but I certainly won’t get what I want. On my journey towards librarianship, it helped to write things down here.
From what I’ve seen in my current department, the next step is Archives Specialist, then Archivist, (and then for someone who enjoys managing people Supervisory Archivist/Supervisory Archives Specialist).
If I keep moving forward, I’m confident I can hit those steps, but there is a considerable amount of variety in those positions. For example you can be an Archives Specialist that works in Research Services in the Textual Records Division, or Electronic Records Division, or the Special Media Division. Within Research Services, you could work with the public in Reference or behind the scenes in Processing or Accessioning. Maybe you work in a more specialized area like the Cartographic Branch, or the Still Pictures Branch, or the Motion Pictures Branch.
Then there’s also the possibility that you aren’t an Archivist or Archives Specialist and instead you work as a Conservator or Preservationist, or even…a Librarian. I’m leaving out a lot of jobs, and these are just the ones in Research Services, because there are other areas that could be a logical next step, like in the Office of Innovation, that handles Digitization, Digital Engagement, the Innovation Hub and more. And the Record Managers are in Agency Services. And the Curators, Registrars, Public Programers, Educators, are in Museum Services.
And then, jobs similar to these exist at the Smithsonian too…
It’s a lot to think about.