How To Become an Archive Researcher

How To Become an Archive Researcher

What is an Archive Researcher?
Most productions will use footage or images that they haven’t filmed themselves. Archive Researchers are responsible for finding archive footage that is suitable and can be used to recreate a past event, or to convey a certain mood.

What is the job?
The role of Archive Researcher involves sourcing archive footage that can be re-used in a new film or TV show. The role also involves clearing the footage for use and negotiating the price with the rights holder.

The variety and type of work that you will carry out as an Archive Researcher will depend on individual producers and the companies you are working for. However, most Archive Researchers will carry out duties such as meeting with Producers, Directors, Designers, Presenters or Writers to discuss the research needs of a program, as well as sourcing the archive content itself. In addition to this, an Archive Researcher may also be asked to provide administrative support such as dealing with contracts.

Key Skills

  • Determination
  • Good research skills – making notes, sourcing, cross referencing
  • Good organisational skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Flexibility
  • Commitment
  • Ability to work under stress

Salary & Working Hours
The daily rate for an Archive Researcher is around £115, with the weekly rate being approximately £600.

In terms of working hours, these will normally be standard office hours but you should expect to be asked to work unsociable hours when deadlines are approaching. Furthermore, Archive Researchers are normally freelancers who work on short term contracts, so it’s important to highlight that you may not have a constant flow of work, as this will depend on how many jobs you can get.

How To Become an Archive Researcher
Having a degree isn’t essential in order to become an Archive Researcher, but it can be helpful in obtaining the right skills and qualities required for the role. It’s a good idea to try and get as much experience as possible in order to build up the skills and knowledge that is required.

Archive Researchers are often taken on for specific projects or programmes, and so to secure regular employment you will need to build up a reputation. If you build up a good reputation and are experienced enough, it may be possible to get a permanent contract with a large broadcaster.

Latest Archive Researcher Jobs

Where Can It Take You?
After building up experience as an Archive Researcher, you may get the opportunity to work on larger-scale projects, and you may be given more responsibility in the role. It may also be possible to move into other roles such as Archive Producer.

Become an Archive Researcher
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Archive Researcher vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.