There are ways to participate in the local community of archivists, both those working for private corporations and those in the public sector, including non-profit historical societies and special collections departments in libraries.
"Archives" are the non-current records of the organization that created them, held for legal and historic perposes, often with a schedule of how long they are to be retained. The skills used to manage archives are also utilized by librarians, historical society staff and others working with historical records that aren't with their original institution, hence the term "archivist" is more widely applied. Archives are typically primary sources and can be valuable for research, although private organizations are under no obligation to make them publically available.
Access to the many and varied archival collections around the region, typically the publicly-available ones, may be accessed in several ways:
1. OhioLINK, the federation of state university libraries, maintains a central catalog of finding aids at Kent State University. These finding aids are formatted in the professional Encoded Archival Description (EAD) fashion. EAD Repository.
2. Some institutions are not members of Ohio Link or don't have all their collections formatted as EAD finding aids yet. In such cases, they may have other ways to access their holdings available at their websites. Here is a list of area archival institutions.