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The City of Portland, Oregon

Archives & Records Management

Office of the City Auditor

phone: 503-865-4100


1800 SW 6th Ave, Suite 550, Portland, OR 97201

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Archives 101: Who we are, what we do and how we do it


“What do you do?”

“I’m an archivist.”

“A what? What’s that?”

This is a conversation that most archivists experience on a routine basis; in fact, the joke is that more people know what an anarchist is than they know what an archivist is.  With this in mind, we thought we’d spend some time introducing archives to our readers.

Sure, you may have visited an archives, done some research or even taken a tour, but do you really know what an archivist does?  Do we roll up the proverbial rug once the Research Room lights go out?  Of course not!  There is a wide and wonderful world of archivy1 out there and over the next few months we’re going to give you a peek into who we are, what we do and why we do it. 

If you have specific questions or even general questions about Archives or Archivists, please comment as we go and we will do our best to respond in future posts.


1 n. ~ The discipline of archives.

Pearce-Moses, Richard, . A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology. Society of American Archivists, 2005. Print.


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