Continuing the horror theme I began in the “Zombies + Libraries = Awesome!” post, I was browsing the “archivist” tag in del.icio.us today, and found that archivists are their own class in the Heroes of Horror, a supplement for D&D players who want to bring a bit of the horror genre into their gaming.
I’m not super-familiar with D&D, but I found a couple of the tidbits of information about the “archivist class” especially fun:
This quote made me think immediately of the SAA Code of Ethics:
The most important characteristic for an archivist is a keen Intelligence. That intellect must also be tempered with a high degree of Wisdom, due to the fine line the archivist must walk in studying evil without being corrupted by it.
These next two quotes sound a heck of a lot more glamorous than my general daily activities during the small amount of professional experience I’ve had…but I don’t know that someone outside the profession would want to re-enact the creation of EAD finding aids just for fun:
The archivist’s class features all serve to further his overall purpose, which is to seek out mystical, divine lore from strange and forbidden sources, and to gain both understanding and mastery thereof.
The archivist can use his dark knowledge to help his allies fight off the corrupting influence of other creatures.
This next quote I can see on a t-shirt…Archivists: Not as Stuffy As Wizards.
Something that also struck me was that, even in D&D, archives is viewed as a vocation, and one that won’t necessarily reward you with gratitude (or monetarily).
Generally speaking, you aren’t quite as stuffy as the average wizard, given your breadth of experience and high Wisdom score, but neither are you a chest-thumping champion of the gods. The secrets you uncover are their own reward, and your confidence in yourself and in the job you do is more rewarding than the empty gratitude of some group or hierarchy.
Here’s that vocation thing again:
It is often said that archivists are born, not made. Many who embrace this class do so out of a genuine thirst for learning, often accompanied by a reverence or admiration for divine power.
My favorite, saving the best for last:
Many archivists are archivists for life; the more hidden lore they uncover, the more they feel they still have to learn.