- Organise and categorise library or archive material like books, images, or maps
- Ideal for someone with an interest in history and good organisational skills
- Opportunities to focus on materials within a particular specialist field that you are interested in
Cataloguers are a specialist type of librarian who focus on adding new materials to the 'catalogue' or list of books and other items in the library or archive.
- Use specialist cataloguing systems to give each item an identifying number
- Describe it in the catalogue and organise it within a storage system
As a cataloguer you'll normally work as part of a team in a library or archive where you'll organise, record, and store information about books and other materials so that they can be easily found and used for research and study.
You'll often spend time in quiet places, and although you will be part of a team, a lot of the work you do will be done independently.
To become a cataloguer, you'll need excellent attention to detail, a methodical and organised approach, and a curiosity and interest in history and the preservation of important material for future generations.
Most cataloguers study for a professional qualification in library or information studies before moving into this field. You can study for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in this area at a number of universities. This can be quite a competitive field, so gaining work experience will help you. You can get this by volunteering in a local archive or library, and or for citizen cataloguing projects.
Language skills and historical knowledge can also be helpful in gaining roles in this field.
Some cataloguers are specialists in a particular field (for example a historical period, or a discipline like natural history) and move into this field from their, whilst others are trained library and information management professionals who focus on this type of work.