Archivetrainees-13_1203_banner© Creative Skillset

Archive Trainee

Personality type:
Picture libraries

The Lowdown        

  • Filing and storing media
  • Converting damaged and legacy media into a digital format
  • Using archive footage to contribute creatively to new works
  • Maintaining a database of media locations within the archive

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • have a passion for media and film, and the preservation of it
  • understand the importance of clear metadata
  • learn the workings of legacy hardware, such as Steenbeck flatbed film editing suites
  • understand different media formats, and how to convert between them
  • become very familiar with the archive storage facility and how to navigate it
  • have excellent communication skills
  • be very well organised
  • have good attention to detail
  • be good at working within a team
  • have good IT skills
  • understand the relevant health and safety laws and procedures

What does an Archive Trainee do?

An Archive Trainee is an entry level position for someone looking to become a media archivist. It comes with a lot of the responsibilities of a media archivist, but allows tutorship and guidance, as well as access to specialist legacy hardware.

With the world slowly becoming more digital, a lot of companies find themselves with archives of difficult to store film reels and video tapes that are becoming obsolete. An Archivist is responsible for maintaining these tapes and converting them into a digital medium to make them easier to access in the future. They will also handle requests from people in the company for specific clips, and need to have a very quick but thorough method to deliver it. For example, an Archive Trainee may need to find a clip of a politician from the 1980s for a news story running that night.

They will need to assist in creating and maintaining records and databases of all the media in the archive. They may also be required to watch through and enter metadata to make it easier to find a resource later on.

Will I need a qualification?

There is no specific qualification needed to become an Archive Trainee, although history and film qualifications can be looked upon favourably.

What’s the best route in?

As the amount of archivists in the UK is declining, the best route in is currently through trainee and apprenticeship schemes. Being mentored by someone who already knows the ins-and-outs of the job will not only give you a good chance to be hired by the company you’re training at, but also give you invaluable skills for looking elsewhere.

More about the Creative Skillset Media Archives Trainee Scheme

Interested? Find out more… 

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  



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