Director, Special Research Collections

Santa Barbara, CA
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Salary: $67,528 - $146,228
Created: September 2, 2022



Position title: Director, Special Research Collections

Salary range: $67,528 - $146,228

Percent time: 100%

Anticipated start: December 2022 or later

Position duration: Indefinite


Open date: July 27, 2022

Next review date: Monday, Sep 5, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Monday, Oct 31, 2022 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.


The University of California (UC), Santa Barbara, is one of ten campuses that comprise the University of California system and is a member of the Association of American Universities. In addition, UC Santa Barbara is a member of the Association of Research Libraries.

The Library is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service.

Individually and collectively, the University of California libraries provide access to the world’s knowledge for the UC campuses and the communities they serve, supporting UC’s missions of teaching, research, and public service. The University of California has a deep commitment to its leadership role in transforming archival practice toward greater openness and responsible stewardship of special research collections and archival content. With a dynamic and innovative library community of curators and archival staff, the UC actively leads the broader conversation in North America around transforming the current archival stewardship model.

The Special Research Collections (SRC) department at UC Santa Barbara curates special collections and archives and provides public services with a local focus and global reach. The mission of SRC is to responsibly acquire, preserve, promote, and make accessible a world-class collection of manuscripts and archives, rare books, photographs, film and media content, sound recordings, and other rare and unique materials that tell the story of our collective past. Significant strengths of the named collections are California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, Humanistic Psychology Archives, Performing Arts, Historical Sound Recordings, American Religions, Santa Barbara History, Romaine Trade Catalogs, and William Wyles Collections. In addition, the unit supports the Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), a database of master recordings made by American record companies during the 78rpm era. The DAHR is part of the American Discography Project (ADP)—an initiative of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Packard Humanities Institute.

The Special Research Collections department is a unit within the Division of Research Resources and Scholarly Communication. SRC integrates special collections resources, services, and operations for all SRC collecting areas and University Archives. The department is comprised of approximately 22 FTE employees: curators and professional staff support collection development and management, technical services, public services, outreach, and community engagement. The unit proactively engages all stakeholders in developing and applying strategies and approaches to break down barriers to primary sources. In addition, SRC develops fundraising strategies, stewards and cultivates donors, and maintains responsible relationships with donors while balancing their interests with UCSB institutional goals, priorities, and capacities. The current SRC facility was built during UCSB Library's 2016 Addition & Renovation Project. With state-of-the-art exhibit and event spaces, research and teaching conference rooms, and a digitization lab, the SRC is a vibrant center of the university’s intellectual life.

Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Research Resources and Scholarly Communication, the Director of Special Research Collections (SRC) provides leadership for SRC curators and staff, collections, operations, resources, services, and spaces. The Director facilitates collaboration across the Library to ensure a high degree of integration of SRC services and functions within the Library, campus, across the UC system, and beyond.

The Director leads a unit that operates at the highest levels of excellence with transparency, commitment to ethical practice in decision-making, and a strong ethos of responsible stewardship of collections and archives. The Director promotes a workplace culture that is fulfilling, productive, empowering, and mutually respectful.

Under the general direction of the Associate University Librarian for Research Resources & Scholarly Communication, the Director:

Establishes priorities and guidelines for the ongoing work of SRC curators and staff engaged in responsible curation, stewardship, and providing timely access to special collections. Manages hiring, supervision, training, coaching, and professional guidance to direct reports.

Provides leadership in planning and managing all aspects of SRC, including public services, collection development and management, processing of special collections and archives in diverse formats, security protocols, and space management, including materials housed in the Library and off-campus remote locations.

Oversees departmental planning. Articulates departmental policies and procedures and is responsible for the ongoing evaluation of SRC activities. Uses data and assessment to support evidence-based changes to collections and services. Analyzes and develops recommendations related to staffing, equipment, and training. Ensures SRC personnel have the skills and tools necessary for supporting 21st-century special collections activities and services in a rapidly changing environment.

Manages the departmental budget, including the collections budget, several endowments, the budget for grant-funded projects, student staffing, and other initiatives.

Provides leadership and support for the management of born-digital materials, including strategies for digital preservation, access, and discovery of SRC collections and institutional records in all formats.

Develops and identifies fundraising strategies and opportunities for building endowments, gifts, support for collections, and funding projects through grant and donor support. Works closely with the Senior Director of Development, the
Associate University Librarian for Research Resources & Scholarly Communication, curators, subject librarians, and other professional colleagues to identify new sources and contacts for enhancing funds and collections.

Collaborates with the Senior Director of Development and curators to organize, manage, and spearhead special events, private showings for donors, donor recognition events, and exhibition openings. Works with the Communications and Marketing Manager to publicize events, new collections, exhibitions, programs, and other public events.

Establishes and sustains faculty and researcher relationships conducive to developing premier research collections and supporting public services.

Oversees departmental reference and instructional services and programs, exhibitions, tours, and other activities. Establishes partnerships with campus departments, museums, UC system-wide Special Collections Departments, and units within the library to maximize support and increase the visibility of the collections.

Builds collaborative relationships with stakeholders across the UCSB Library, including Directors of Resource Acquisition and Discovery Services, Digital Library Development, Collection Strategies, Access Services, Research and Engagement, and Teaching and Learning, and the Events & Exhibitions Librarian.

Collaborates with staff across the library to establish best practices for the acquisition, care, handling, metadata description, security, access of library collections, and related public services activities.

Keeps abreast of current standards and emerging technologies to effectively support the organization of, and access to, library collections and archives. Communicates new developments and trends affecting the department's work. Regularly reviews processing software, automation potential, and outsourcing opportunities; and maintains a future-oriented approach in planning for new and evolving responsibilities across the Department.

Represents the UCSB Library on UC system-wide committees and ad-hoc groups related to special collections and archives; participates in library-wide activities, committees, and special projects; and represents the Library in local, regional, and national organizations.

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Salary information can be found at Librarians at the University of California, Santa Barbara are professional academic appointees who accrue vacation at the rate of two days per month and sick leave at the rate of one day per month. The University has excellent retirement plans and a selection of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans. Benefits information can be found at



Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

At least a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited institution or equivalent international institution, with coursework in archives and/or special collections, OR comparable advanced degree with five years’ experience in special collections in an academic research library;

At least three years’ experience managing library professionals and/or staff; and,

At least three years’ increasing professional responsibility and experience in special collections and archives.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Excellent written communication skills as evidenced by submitted materials including the CV, Cover Letter, and optional but encouraged statements of diversity, and teaching.

Preferred qualifications

Experience demonstrating a strong commitment to the user-focused design of collections and services;

Knowledge of current and emerging trends, issues, workflows, standards, and best practices in archives and special collections in research libraries, including born-digital content acquisition, curation, digital preservation, and digitization of analog formats;

Evidence of success in strategic planning, including workforce and budget planning, collection space planning and management;

Demonstrated understanding of the uses of emerging technology to enhance the reach and impact of archives and special collections and the efficiency of work within the department;

Society of American Archivists awards or certificate programs, or Academy of Certified Archivists certification;

Demonstrated experience with preservation or conservation standards and their challenges for a variety of content types (e.g., born-digital or reformatted digital objects such as images, sound, moving recordings, etc., and print or other hard copies);

Experience with metadata standards that are MARC and non-MARC compatible, and Linked Data;

Familiarity with technology tools that are used with archival content (e.g., content management tools, such as ArchivesSpace, and web publishing platforms);

Familiarity with legal, privacy, and ethical issues associated with archiving and providing access to digital and print content;

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;

Demonstrated strong and effective managerial and organizational skills with an ability to lead and motivate library professionals and paraprofessionals, and other library personnel;

Experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support;

Experience with public programming and exhibits;

Knowledge of consortia and other collaborative initiatives;

Experience working and supervising in a union environment;

Demonstrated commitment to professional development; and,

Demonstrated commitment to achieving equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and the community.


Document requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or service.

Reference requirements

  • 2-3 required (contact information only)

References will only be contacted for the finalist.

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The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for the deadlines applicable to new University of California employees. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


Published: Friday, September 2, 2022 13:51 UTC

Last updated: Friday, September 2, 2022 13:51 UTC