Skip to main content

Head of Archives and Special Collections

Recruitment Period

Open date: June 4th, 2019
Last review date: Monday, Jul 22, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Monday, Sep 9, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Head of Archives and Special Collections

Library of the University of California, Davis

Overview of Position

The Library of the University of California, Davis, seeks a forward-looking and creative professional to join our team as Head of Archives and Special Collections and advance the library’s efforts to transform and improve discovery of library resources, collection management, and the organization and curation of data.

Following a recent merger of Special Collections and the Archives and Institutional Assets (AIA) initiative into a combined department, Archives and Special Collections now includes both traditional manuscript and special collection materials as well as one of the library’s high profile strategic activities reflecting a reimagining of the scope and role of a university archives.

The resources of Archives and Special Collections play a significant role in the library’s support of instruction and research. The department has several areas of strength including viticulture and enology, agricultural technology, political movements and radical pamphlets, British poetry 1789-1914, theater history, history of natural sciences, and nature writing; and with generous support from Warren Winiarski, the library is pursuing wine writers as a new area of collection strength. The department also oversees the Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center Collection, comprising 21,000 volumes relating to the Trans-Mississippi West, and is responsible for the library’s map collection. The library relies on remote storage at the UC Northern Regional Library Facility as a secure preservation environment for many of its rare materials.

Within Archives and Special Collections, AIA integrates UC Davis-created and -commissioned content – conceived in the broadest sense -- with the library’s existing archives and special collections, allowing the library to provide a transformative research experience for the campus community and the world. Together with other library and campus units, AIA provides an infrastructure of content, tools, and services to assist UC Davis faculty, staff, and researchers in making informed decisions regarding reusing, sharing, archiving, and preserving content created in the course of doing research, teaching/learning, and patient care activities, so that UC Davis-created content is easily discoverable and quickly recognized. AIA also triages inquiries from library and campus units regarding preservation, archiving, and metadata schemata development, and provides referrals to library or campus experts as appropriate.

As the department head for Archives and Special Collections, the incumbent is responsible for leadership and the overall management and administration of department and program functions. Management responsibilities focus on developing tactical and operational directions for the department and all of its programs, coordinating and facilitating integration of department and program operations and services, developing and monitoring budgets, and developing evaluation and assessment metrics to ensure department and program effectiveness align with the library’s strategic framework and strategic plan.

As an individual contributor, this position will also participate directly in the cultivation of donors, provision of research support and instruction services, outreach efforts, and collaboration in collection development activities, and may join in digital scholarship and/or data science projects both within the library and elsewhere on campus.

As a part of the library’s cross-departmental efforts, the incumbent plays a pivotal role in exposing our unique collections to the world. The incumbent works closely with Online Strategies and other stakeholders to imagine and develop transformative ways to reach an increasingly diverse range of potential users. The incumbent also collaborates with Collection Strategies, the library’s Director of Development, donors, and the University Librarian to evaluate, select, and acknowledge donations of rare and unique materials, as well as transfers of UC Davis-created or -commissioned works. The incumbent also oversees the department’s efforts to make rare and unique materials accessible, coordinating those efforts with those of the Content Support Services department (which is responsible for cataloging, archival processing, and selected preservation services). The incumbent collaborates with others in the Scholarly Resources division to plan and coordinate policies, procedures, workflows, and projects. And the incumbent will collaborate with the new departments of Student Services and Research Services to thoughtfully reimagine partnerships between Archives and Special Collections and subject librarians.

In addition to the head, the department comprises six regular employees, one donor-funded term-appointed employee, and a number of student employees. This position reports to the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources.

UC Davis and UC Davis Library

The University of California, Davis, is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near Sacramento, California’s capital, UC Davis has more than 38,000 students, the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and researchers, and 17,400 other personnel. The university has an annual sponsored research budget of over $850 million, includes a major academic health system, and over two dozen specialized research centers. Recognized as one of the top 10 public universities in the US and the number one university in the world for agricultural research and veterinary medicine, UC Davis offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges - Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools - Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Nursing.

The UC Davis Library is ranked among the top academic research libraries in North America and belongs to the Association of Research Libraries and other organizations that position it to collaborate with other top organizations. The library uses Ex Libris’s Alma as its resource management system, Primo as its discovery system, and Fedora as its digital asset management system. The library has been actively involved in linked data activities and is planning the transition of its bibliographic data and library operations from MARC to linked data.

Position Responsibilities

Under the general supervision of the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources, the incumbent will:

Provide leadership as a department head within the library:
• Recruit, supervise, train, and mentor departmental personnel as individuals and as part of a team. Work with employees to develop job-related development plans and monitor professional training opportunities to ensure personnel have the skills and tools necessary for supporting 21st-century library services in a rapidly changing environment.
• Empower employees to make independent decisions at appropriate operational levels and hold them accountable for successful completion of assignments. Establish workloads and procedures, provide guidance and direction, monitor and evaluate performance, and provide coaching and counseling as needed.
• Align departmental planning, priorities, goals, objectives, and services with strategic goals of the library and the university.
• Lead the development of services and programs that are user-centered and responsive to current and evolving campus needs using human design centered principles to create seamless and responsive services.
• Use data and assessment techniques to support evidence-based changes to services and programs to improve the user experience. Develop and implement ongoing assessment of services and resources; oversee data collection and analysis of statistics to evaluate services and their impact continually.
• Formulate, revise, and implement policies and procedures in response to evolving operational needs. Interpret such policies and procedures for students, faculty, and staff as necessary.
• Help set priorities and lead strategic planning, policy formulation, and personnel, budget, and funding plans and requests.
• Work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness within the UC Davis Library and on campus.
• Participate in library-wide planning and governance, and serve as a member of the Library Management Council and other library committees and working groups.
• Represent the library through participation in campus, local, regional, and national cooperative, outreach, and professional activities.
• Participate in professional development activities as appropriate to meet both personal needs as well as departmental goals and objectives.
• Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
• As an academic appointee engages actively in pertinent ongoing research, scholarship, or creative activity and/or teaching.

Lead and manage the Archives and Special Collections department:
• Develop and provide a vision for the department that reflects the strategic directions of the library, including growing collection focuses (e.g., wine writers) and developing transformative ways (especially digital) of reaching potential users. This will include setting goals, policies, best practices, and assessment metrics for success and sustainability; identifying program resource needs; and facilitating collaborations and partnerships with library and campus units.
• Engage in significant and growing philanthropic support to enhance collections, services, and outreach. Work with the library’s development officer to identify and cultivate potential donors of in-kind and financial gifts.
• Engage with researchers and other campus entities to encourage appropriate transfers of assets to the University Archives.
• As a member of the department, participate in the provision of reference and instruction services as well as outreach efforts.
• Collaborate with Collection Strategies and other library personnel on collection development and collection assessment activities.
• Participate in digital scholarship and/or data science projects both within the library and elsewhere on campus.

Required Qualifications for the Position

• Masters in Library or Information Science from an ALA-accredited institution OR a graduate degree appropriate to working in archives or special collections OR at least five years of professional experience in an appropriate industry or field
• Demonstrated professional experience working with archival materials, including digital objects
• Demonstrated experience with preservation or conservation standards and their challenges for a variety of content types (e.g., born or reformatted digital objects as images, sound, moving recordings, data, etc., and print or other hard copy)
• Experience that demonstrates a strong commitment to user-focused design of collections and services
• Knowledge of current and emerging trends, issues, workflows, and standards and best practices in the worlds of archives and special collections, including digital content acquisition and curation as well as digitization of analog formats
• Experience with metadata standards that are MARC and non-MARC compatible, such as Dublin Core, EAD, METS, MODS, PREMIS, DACS, and Linked Data
• Demonstrated understanding of the uses of technology to enhance the reach and impact of archives and special collections and the efficiency of work within the department
• Two or more years of supervisory experience
• Demonstrated strong and effective managerial and organizational skills with abilities to lead and motivate library professionals and paraprofessionals and other library personnel; communicate with personnel, articulating vision, setting goals, managing time, and promoting teamwork; and meet deadlines and resolve conflicts
• Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively with multiple constituencies in a complex and rapidly changing, matrix-based environment; excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work successfully in an intensely collaborative environment with complex workgroups comprising a broad range of people from culturally diverse backgrounds including colleagues, administrators, students, faculty, donors, and alumni
• Demonstrated commitment to professional development
• Strong service orientation and interest in anticipating and supporting information users’ values and needs
• Ability to meet the University of California criteria for advancement and promotion within the Librarian Series

Preferred Qualifications for the Position

• Society of American Archivists awards or certificate programs, or Academy of Certified Archivists certification
• Familiarity with technology tools that are used with archival content (e.g., content management tools, such as ArchivesSpace; web publishing platforms, such as Omeka; and institutional repositories, such as DSpace)
• Familiarity with legal, privacy, and ethical issues associated with archiving digital and print content
• Experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support
• Experience with public programming and exhibits
• Knowledge of basic preservation methods and procedures for archival materials in multiple formats
• Knowledge of consortia and other collaborative initiatives
• Experience working and supervising in a union environment
• Record of accomplishment in research, scholarship, or creative activity and/or teaching consonant with an academic appointment

Salary and Benefits

Rank and salary: Associate Librarian to Librarian, $64,395 to $123,327. (Appointment rank and salary based on qualifications and experience.)

This position is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Benefits: The University of California is one of the largest employers in California, and offers outstanding health and retirement benefits to its employees and their families. Librarians are academic appointees and earn 24 days of vacation and 12 days of sick leave per year. In addition, there are 13 university holidays.

Application Information

Applications must be submitted via the UC Davis RECRUIT website:

Please include a letter of interest addressing qualifications and experience related to the position, a Curriculum Vitae, and names and contact information for at least four references.

Applicants are also required to complete a Statement of Contributions to Diversity. Please see for information about why diversity statements are requested and guidelines for writing a diversity statement.

Candidates applying by July 22, 2019 will receive first consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

This position is a critical position and subject to a background check. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of background investigation including criminal history and identity check.

The University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2014.

Job location

Davis, CA

Learn More

More information about this recruitment:


Document requirements
  • Cover Letter - Please include a letter of interest addressing qualifications and experience related to the position

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 4-6 required (contact information only)