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"Library of Virginia Reference Archivist" Topic

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MarbotsChasseurs25 Jan 2021 1:37 p.m. PST

Hello everyone,

I have been very busy lately, and all my research has fallen off. However, we are under contract for our first house! I am working again, going to school, and as the title says, I applied for an entry-level job today at the Library of Virginia as a reference archivist. Even though I lack any experience inside a library, I hope my History degree and experience in several online databases, genealogy research, and archival research will help get my foot in the door. I really can not imagine a better job at the moment other than teaching history. I did speak about my research on the battle of Thann in 1809 when asked about research experience and the process to find names and such. However, I hope to get an interview to see the passion I have for research when I speak about it.

Does anyone have experience as a reference archivist? If so, any tips?

I know, very far off-topic! I apologize

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2021 2:42 p.m. PST

Just remember that part of that job is "customer service" so if you have any experience in dealing with the public, no matter what the job, be sure to emphasize it.

When I worked at the Mississippi Archives before retiring, I always made it a habit to say "sir" or "ma'am or miss" no matter how much younger the person was.

Good luck with getting an interview.


MarbotsChasseurs25 Jan 2021 3:53 p.m. PST


Thank you for that information! As a personal trainer and manager I have had 17 years of customer service and sir and ma'am were drilled into my life as a young child and still used today. Did you enjoy the job?


Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2021 5:25 p.m. PST


Yes I did almost all the time, except when a supervisor gave us some inane task to accomplish. But most of the time we could work slowly on it and she would either forget about it or change the task parameters to sometime saner. Sheesh!

But it was a great 22 years. I learned a lot about my state and had some great co-workers.

Again, good luck getting your interview.


15th Hussar26 Jan 2021 1:49 a.m. PST

Good Luck, Marbot!

MarbotsChasseurs26 Jan 2021 3:28 a.m. PST


I appreciate you sharing your experience. I changed my resume to have more keywords that would pop up on their algorithm so I can get an interview.


Thank you! Hopefully, in the next week I will hear back from them.


Marulaz126 Jan 2021 4:27 a.m. PST

Another good luck!


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 11:11 a.m. PST

See if you can find a local museum or historical society that will allow you to volunteer time as an archivist. See if you are eligible to join the local/state society of archivists.

State positions are very coveted, and even entry level positions attract people with experience and appropriate internships or practicums, hence my suggestion to get some actual archival experience under your belt. My experience with archivists is that they have an MLS or a graduate degree, but that is at the university level, so I don't know if the state is the same, or is more accepting of an undergrad degree.

Good luck to you.

MarbotsChasseurs26 Jan 2021 2:05 p.m. PST


Thank you for your response! Good to hear the truth and reality of the competition I will face if given an interview. I just joined the Civil War and Revolutionary War roundtables here to get more exposure to people who may be working in those fields. I am the youngest by at least 30 years it seems!

I wish I had more in-person archival experience, but my knowledge and experience of online databases such as Archives Nationales: Base Leonore, Service historique de la Défense, US National Archives, and Hessian State Archives are pretty thorough.

I am getting a Master's Degree in Education, but to teach. However, I am lucky to have a friend who served pretty high up in a State position and they know people at the Library. They said they would put in a good word. However, the first goal is to get the interview.


Bill N26 Jan 2021 3:42 p.m. PST

I wish you luck. Once things settle down I will need to make a trip to Richmond.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2021 4:17 p.m. PST

A good word never hurts.

Is it a MEd in secondary education?

MarbotsChasseurs26 Jan 2021 4:28 p.m. PST


Yes sir. I was going to get one in military history with a concentration in Napoleonic Wars. I decided to do the Career Switcher program at Regent University that also allows you to also get an MEd. I would like to teach history in secondary education and since I have a background in coaching football and lacrosse, the MEd seemed a wiser choice for future job prospects.

However, a job where I get to research, deal with historical documents, interact with people and help people find their ancestors, would be pretty much a dream job.

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