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Definition: Archivist, Curator, Librarian - Who ARE These People?

The terms curator, archivist, and librarian are often used interchangeably.

Photograph of smiling librarian in special collections stacks

Archivist, Curator, and Librarian are titles used to describe people who are responsible for the management of a special collection, such as an archives, manuscript repository, or rare book collection. These jobs may include activities such as appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing, preserving, and providing access to primary sources. By carrying out these activities, archivists, curators, and librarians serve to protect the authenticity and context of the materials in their care.

Archivists, curators, or librarians are often the best people to approach for in-depth information about the collections they oversee.

Contact a librarian at the University of Maryland for assistance with your research project!