Position Profile

Job Title:  Archivist (Government Record Archivist; Audio Visual Archivist)

Work Unit:  Heritage / PAA / Collections Management Section

Ministry:   Alberta Culture and Tourism

Competition Number:  1042350

Date:  May 2017



The Archivist oversees the acquisition, arrangement and description of record of enduring value that have historical, evidential, legal and financial significance to the people and Government of Alberta, and makes certain the e records are preserved in perpetuity and made available to stakeholder. The Archivist adheres to provincial legislation, and national and international professional standards to safeguard authentic records which provide evidence of the activities of the Government of Alberta and it citizen. The job exists to ensure that the Provincial Archive fulfill its legislated mandate and meets the goals set out by the Division, Ministry, and Government of Alberta, ensuring Government accountability to the people of Alberta.

Responsibilities and Activities



Draws on extensive knowledge of archival science to acquire authentic records of enduring value to develop a "full spectrum holdings"; meaning a full range of both public and private records related to the Province of Alberta regardless of media.


  • Appraises government records as required by legislation, as well as private records to determine whether or not they should be acquired. The function of appraisal involves the systematic research of the records creator and assessment of the records to determine if they have archival value.
  • Utilizes theoretical and technical knowledge to identify records in all formats, in order to distinguish between originals and copies, and verify that the record possess all of the necessary components to guarantee their authenticity.
  • Applies knowledge of provincial legislation to advise government records managers on records management issues and records transfers.
  • Guides members of the public through the records donation process, advising them on the legal transfer of ownership and tax receipt process, and negotiating access and use conditions.
  • Produces and implements best practices, procedures, policies, briefings and grant proposals for a variety of special projects, and supervises the contractors, volunteers, interns and staff required to carry them out.


Supports the mission of the Ministry and the business goals of the Division by overseeing the physical control and permanent preservation of the records.


  • Evaluates and assigns use and value priorities to the archival holdings so that the appropriate preservation and conservation measures are applied to the records.
  • In conjunction with the conservator, performs task supervision of the preservation activities of archival technicians, volunteers, contractors and interns.
  • In conjunction with the conservator, examines the records and uses technical knowledge to identify format and determine specific care and storage requirements.
  • Provide instruction to other government bodies, members of the public, and other archival institutions on the proper care, handling, and preservation of records of all media.

Make available

Establishes intellectual control of the records according to national archival standards to ensure the Branch meets legislative requirements.


  • Conducts extensive research to determine the provenance, arrangement, composition, scope, informational content, and internal and external relationships of the records.
  • Prepares detailed descriptions about the structure, function and content of the records and records creator.
  • Guide and assists researchers from other government bodies and members of the public, providing access co holdings and advising them with respect to provincial access and federal use legislation.
  • Work within federal income tax and cultural properties legislation to coordinate the tax receipt process.
  • Consults on national and provincial descriptive standards initiatives and develops institutional standards.

Advise and Educate

Participates in planning and coordinating educational program, special event and annual events in accordance with the Division’s business goal to promote appreciation for Alberta's historical resources and culture.


  • Conceptualize, develops and implements exhibit and event to increase the profile of the Provincial Archive of Alberta.
  • Provides archival education by conducting workshops, giving conference presentation, teaching at post­secondary institution, and publishing.
  • Participates in provincial and national associations, advisory board and cross-government initiative to foster partnership with various stakeholder groups.
  • Provides professional advice to provincial government bodies, archival professionals, and other provincial, national and international archival institutions.
  • Interprets legislation to stakeholders.


  • The Provincial Archives preserves the collective memory of Alberta and provides a cultural identity for its stakeholders.
  • It is the only corporate archives for the Government of Alberta and it also acquires records from private individuals, businesses, organizations, associations, and communities throughout Alberta.
  • The Archivist's work is vital for ensuring corporate efficiency and accountability.
  • Stakeholders include the Government of Alberta offices and their employees; members of the public; public and private sector organizations; provincial, national and international professional organizations; other archival institutions.
  • The Provincial Archives provides a foundation for research about Alberta and is utilized by researchers around the world.
  • The Archivist is a member of a vibrant profession in which archivists are moving beyond traditional roles and responsibilities to tackle the challenges posed by records created in databases, document management systems, and those produced in complex digital environments in the course of artistic, scientific and e-government activities.
  • The Archivist at the Provincial Archives of Alberta is often called upon to:
    • Confer and advise on provincial, national, and international archival and information management strategies and policies;
    • Collaborate with stakeholders on a variety of projects;
    • Provide direction on cross government initiatives;
    • Assume a leadership role in provincial and national professional organizations.
  • In working with the public and other government offices the Archivist regularly encounters situations
  • The Archivist must be able to interpret a wide variety of legislation.
  • The Archivist works with minimal supervision and his/her work aids and informs management decisions.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • A Master’s Degree in Archival Studies, Library and Information Studies, History or related discipline.
  • A solid understanding of principles standards, and methodology of archival science and records management, and proven skills in the interpretation and application of archival theories.
  • Knowledge of and ability to interpret the legislation which provides the framework within which the Archives operates including: the Historical Resources Act the Government Organization Act; the Records Management Regulation ; the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; Cultural Property Export and Import Act; the Evidence Act: the Copyright Act; and several other significant provincial Acts.
  • Familiarity with primary historical research techniques and trends and awareness of the needs of disciplines that utilize archival sources.
  • Awareness of Canadian and Alberta history, political climate, and social context in which records were created.
  • Good understanding of system requirements for the Archives.
  • Strong organizational communication, analytical and research skills.
  • An understanding of process and procedure for supervising government staff, contract staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Extensive supervisory and interpersonal skills to motivate staff, volunteers, members of the public, outside organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Good conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
  • A strong aptitude for independent decision making and to act with initiative.
  • A sound understanding of organization behavior and organizational awareness.
  • Experience with business planning, strategic planning and project planning within a team environment and individually as the work environment dictates.


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