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Food and Wine Archivist

Application Window

Open date: August 26th, 2021

Next review date: Sunday, Oct 3, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Nov 7, 2021 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.

Position description

Food and Wine Archivist

Library of the University of California, Davis

Overview of Position

The University of California, Davis seeks a dynamic and collaborative person for the position of Food and Wine Archivist. This new role will lead the library’s high profile and strategic initiatives around distinctive collections in food, wine, and other beverages. In particular, the Food and Wine Archivist will build and shape collections, increase our philanthropic support, incorporate new and evolving technologies, and expand our ability to support research, instruction, and public engagement around both the science of food and wine and their role in culture.

The successful candidate will have a singular opportunity to design and develop a cohesive program that will have a worldwide impact, while leveraging what renowned wine writer Hugh Johnson called “the greatest wine library in the world.” The Food and Wine Archivist provides vision, leadership, advocacy, interpretation, and passion for distinctive collections and serves as catalyst and coordinator for a dynamic group of activities and individuals dedicated to surfacing collections to faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and an international community of scholars, experts, and enthusiasts.

Stronger candidates will possess deep knowledge of food and/or wine (e.g., agricultural science, the role of food/wine in culture, or industry experience); the ability to master over time the broad range of formats, subjects, and time periods represented in the collections; enthusiasm for working with faculty, students, donors, and industry partners; demonstrated aptitude for fundraising; proclivity for adopting new technologies and methods that will improve access to and use of collections; an ability to reimagine a program as it grows over time; and a collaborative and collegial outlook and spirit.

The successful candidate will imbed themselves in our larger community, working closely with external partners especially in Northern California, including a broad array of industries (restaurateurs, sommeliers, winemakers, farmers, food and wine writers, influencers) as well as relevant cultural organizations and governmental bodies, to build a strong network of donors, champions, and users.

The Food and Wine Archivist will take an active role in collection development and management, research services, outreach to various user communities (including via web content and exhibits both physical and digital), fundraising and grant writing, and donor stewardship. The Food and Wine Archivist will also provide supervision of project and student staff, and may supervise additional personnel as the library builds on our existing philanthropic support. In collaboration with others, the Food and Wine Archivist will serve as the primary contact for visiting classes, tours, and researchers and will also contribute to outreach to the campus community.

Collection areas in this role’s portfolio include both distinctive collections in Archives and Special Collections as well as research-level collections elsewhere in the library. Topics include post-harvest agriculture, viticulture, enology, the Warren Winiarski Wine Writer collection, the Northern California Food Movement, and others relevant to UC Davis research (e.g. brewing, distilling, sensory science, microbiome-terroir).

This position is in the Librarian Series and, as such, is an academic appointee. Librarians at the University of California are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). In addition to professional competence and quality of service within the library in the primary job, advancement in the librarian series requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library, and/or university and community service, and/or scholarly activities.

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 39,000 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 $940 million, includes a major academic health system, and over two dozen specialized research centers. Recognized as one of the top five 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 university is ranked among the top institutions in the country in contributing to the public good (e.g., recruiting and graduating low-income students), LGBTQ-inclusivity, and serving first-generation and Hispanic students.

The UC Davis Library is 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 (in a shared system with the other UC libraries), Primo as its discovery system, and Fedora as its digital asset management system.

The resources of Archives and Special Collections play a significant role in the library’s support of instruction and research. For nearly a century, the library has supported excellence in viticulture and enology teaching and research. Over that time, the library has built what renowned wine writer Hugh Johnson called “the greatest wine library in the world,” including 30,000 books in more than 50 languages, rare books and manuscripts, historic records and research data, and materials in every medium, from wine labels to videos. With generous support from Warren Winiarski, the library is pursuing wine writers as an area of growing collection strength. Likewise, the library supports the university’s top-ranked programs in food science and nutrition through a strong focus on resources related to industrial food technology and food safety. Another recent growth area, the Northern California Food Movement, explores the role that our region played in the development of a national movement toward sustainable, ethical, organic and locally-sourced food and agricultural practices.

In addition, the department has several other areas of strength, including political movements and radical pamphlets, British poetry 1789-1914 (the Kohler Collection), theater history, history of natural sciences, and nature writing. 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 and the University Archives. The library relies on remote storage at the UC Northern Regional Library Facility as a secure preservation environment for many of its rare materials.

In addition to this position, the Archives and Special Collections department comprises six regular employees, one term-appointed employee, one grant-funded term-appointed employee shared with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, and a number of student employees. This position reports to the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

The work location for this position is principally on campus, with some required travel (largely in northern California) and some flexibility to work remotely per applicable Library policy.

Position Responsibilities

Under the general direction of the Head of Archives and Special Collections, over time the incumbent will:

  • Provide leadership for the Food and Wine Program:
    • Building on our new program plan for Food and Wine, guide and implement a vision as well as annual goals for programs around distinctive collections for food, wine, and related topics
    • May lead and/or participate in multiple cross-library initiatives to build and sustain programmatic efforts around distinctive collections
    • Manage budgets for collection development and programmatic efforts around appropriate distinctive collections
    • Use data and assessment techniques to support evidence-based changes to services and programs to improve the user experience
  • Collection development and management:

    • Provide leadership around collection development and collection management for a portfolio including archival materials, rare books and maps in Archives and Special Collections, as well as research-level collections in the general (circulating and reference) collection for appropriate topics
    • Create and implement a strategy to guide collection development and work with dealers, private collectors, and donors to acquire materials for the collection through purchases and gifts
    • Explore new areas for collection development and expand on existing collection strengths
    • Travel to examine collections on offer and to engage with dealers and potential donors
    • Conduct an ongoing analysis of collection strengths
    • Acquire collections through donations and purchases in alignment with collecting goals for more inclusive collecting and the library’s strategic plan
    • Work with advisory board(s) for selected donor-funded collection areas
  • Development:

    • Provide leadership for and participate in significant development efforts to enhance collections, services, and outreach by cultivating existing and prospective donors and by seeking out and preparing funding proposals for gifts and grants in coordination with the Library Director of Development and campus partners
    • Steward relationships for selected donors of gifts-in-kind in targeted collecting areas
    • May conduct or coordinate oral histories with donors
  • Outreach:

    • Interprets and promotes the library’s distinctive collections to both campus and community audiences through exhibitions, web content, social media, public events, tours, scholarly publications, and other activities that present and interpret collections for a wide set of audiences
    • Provide leadership for and/or collaborate on physical and digital exhibits, events, and programs
    • Work with colleagues to help set digitization priorities and to enhance and improve digital collections portals and websites providing access to distinctive collections to improve support of emerging research and teaching methodologies
    • Build and sustain relationships with students and faculty
    • Participate in digital scholarship and/or data science projects both within the library and elsewhere on campus
    • May collaborate with faculty to design and host classes that allow students to learn directly from primary source holdings and to incorporate distinctive collections into the curriculum
  • Departmental contributions:

    • Assist colleagues with the processing of acquisitions by assessing collections, establishing priorities, and, as needed, providing input on catalog records, finding aids, and metadata needed for digital collections
    • Contributes to supporting the day-to-day operations, including staffing the reading room and providing research services via phone, email, and in person on a variety of topics
    • Contributes to department-level planning and the formulation of new policies and procedures
  • Advance the goals of the library’s forthcoming strategic plan, including a renewed focus on inclusion and equity

  • Represent the library through participation in campus, local, regional, and national cooperative, outreach, and professional activities

  • Keeps abreast of developments in archival standards and trends, applying new rules, interpretations, and techniques as appropriate

  • 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, may engage in pertinent research, scholarship, or creative activity and/or teaching

Salary and Benefits

Rank and salary: Assistant Librarian, Salary Point 1, $58,365, to Associate Librarian, Salary Point 10, $82,525. (Appointment rank and salary based on qualifications and experience.)

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The incumbent will be a member of the LX Collective Bargaining Unit represented by the University Council - American Federation of Teachers (UC- AFT).

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:

Candidates applying by October 3, 2021, will receive first consideration. The position will remain open until filled. See for this posting and information about working at the UC Davis Library.

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 visit for information about why diversity statements are requested and guidelines for writing a diversity statement.

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 checks.

The University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. UC Davis is a smoke‐ and tobacco‐free campus effective January 1, 2014.

Applicants are noticed of the University of California policy on COVID vaccinations. Please visit


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    Masters in Library or Information Science from an ALA-accredited institution OR a graduate degree appropriate to the portfolio of this position OR at least three years of professional experience in an appropriate industry or field
    Demonstrated professional experience or capacity working with distinctive collections (including rare books, archival materials, and digital objects)
    Demonstrated experience or capacity showing a strong commitment to user-focused services
    Demonstrated understanding of the uses of technology to enhance the reach and impact of archives and special collections and the efficiency of work within libraries
    Commitment to addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, in collection building, instruction, and throughout library activities
    Evidence of flexibility and initiative when working within a fast-paced and rapidly changing setting.
    Evidence of effective use of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills
    Evidence of ability to work collaboratively with library colleagues and partners within the library and across the campus
    Demonstrated commitment to professional development
    Ability to meet the University of California criteria for advancement and promotion within the Librarian Series

Preferred qualifications
    • Five or more years professional experience in a distinctive collections environment
    • Demonstrated experience in an academic research library
    • Demonstrated experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support
    • Demonstrated strong service orientation and interest in anticipating and supporting information users’ values and needs
    • Demonstrated experience with public programming and exhibits
    • Reading knowledge of at least one non-English language, especially French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese
    • Advanced degree in or demonstrated professional knowledge of a subject relevant to the collections in this position’s portfolio
    • Demonstrated knowledge of cataloging, archival processing, digitization, and conservation methodologies and standards used in rare book and manuscript libraries
    • Knowledge of the antiquarian book market
    • Demonstrated experience teaching with primary sources and working with students in classroom settings
    • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices for security, storage, handling, description, and service for distinctive collections
    • Ability to master over time the wide range of materials and time periods represented in the collection
    • Demonstrated knowledge of intellectual property and scholarly communication issues and trends related to libraries, archives, and special collections
    • Ability to provide careful and ethical stewardship for existing gifts, grants, and awards
    • Experience supervising student employees and/or interns
    • Record of accomplishment in research, scholarship, or creative activity and/or teaching consonant with an academic appointment

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

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

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

Telephone reference calls

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Job location

Davis, CA