Archivist for Special Collections, University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine Libraries is seeking a dynamic, knowledgeable, and collaborative professional for the position of Archivist for Special Collections in the Department of Special Collections & Archives. This is a full-time, permanent position.

The Archivist for Special Collections is the technical services lead for Special Collections & Archives and collaborates to enhance a user-centered, flexible processing program. The Archivist for Special Collections provides expert guidance and management of archival and manuscript collections, including appraisal, accessioning, preparation of processing plans, arrangement and description, digitization, and preservation of materials housed within Special Collections collecting areas, including but not limited to Orange County regional history, the Southeast Asian Archive, portions of the Critical Theory Archive, dance and performing arts, and literary manuscripts.

Qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds and life experiences are encouraged to apply. The UCI Libraries is committed to recruiting a diverse workforce and advancing UCI’s Commitment to Inclusive Excellence.

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Head of Special Collections & Archives and University Archivist, the Archivist for Special Collections works collaboratively to set priorities and determine appropriate approaches to processing collections and preparing them for use. The Archivist for Special Collections provides leadership and contributes to a team of archivists, curators, paraprofessional archival processors, and part-time students responsible for accessioning, arrangement, and description and ensures that materials are efficiently and effectively processed. The successful candidate helps lead a team to create processing plans, determine levels of processing, set goals, establish timelines, evaluate outcomes, and provide quality control for archival description. The Archivist for Special Collections analyzes and contributes metadata across digital collections in the relevant subject areas to facilitate discovery and collaborates with the Assistant University Archivist to develop a sustainable and efficient approach to processing digital archives. The Archivist for Special Collections provides leadership in the creation of policies, procedures, workflows, and standards compliance in archival description and digital projects, and also implements technologies and strategies to support these activities.

Working closely with the Head of the Department, the Archivist for Special Collections participates in collection acquisition, on-site appraisal, and donor relations activities. The Archivist for Special Collections has responsibility for encoding finding aids using Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for contribution to the Online Archive of California and contributing descriptive metadata to Calisphere. The Archivist for Special Collections serves on the Department’s reference desk and also prepares statistical and narrative reports for administrative and public use. The successful candidate may manage supplies and collection storage, participate in donor relations and development, contribute to instruction and outreach activities, and assist in the preparation of exhibits. The Archivist for Special Collections collaborates with librarians and staff throughout the Libraries in many departments, including Collection Strategies, Digital Scholarship Services, Education and Outreach, and Information Technology on cross departmental initiatives including grant projects as appropriate.



  • A graduate degree in library science from an ALA-accredited institution, or a graduate degree in archival studies, or equivalent combination of graduate degree and archival experience.
  • Formal coursework or training in archival management and theory.
  • Successful experience applying efficient processing techniques in accessioning, appraising, arranging, describing, and preserving archival collections and preparing finding aids of varying size and complexity.
  • Understanding of and commitment to nationally-accepted standards, vocabularies, and best practices for archival processing and description, including Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS), EAD, EAC-CPF, LCSH, AAT, RDA, and MARC.
  • Experience working with archival content management systems, such as Archivists’ Toolkit or ArchivesSpace.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of efficient and extensible archival processing approaches, such as those outlined in Greene and Meissner’s “More Product, Less Process,” the Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries, or other related works.
  • Demonstrated skills in project management in a team environment, including the ability to track and measure progress toward project goals and complete projects within anticipated deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain an awareness of current developments, trends, and emerging technologies in archives and special collections.
  • Ability to stay abreast of privacy, confidentiality, copyright, and related policies associated with use of archives and special collections materials.
  • Ability to successfully train and direct the work of archival processing assistants.
  • Ability to provide effective reference service in an academic library.
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively and to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness within UCI Libraries and the campus.


  • Three or more years of professional archival processing experience with increasing responsibility, preferably with large and/or complex collections.
  • Recent experience providing reference service in a research or academic library.
  • Experience directing work or as a supervisor of paraprofessional archival processing assistants.
  • Experience managing metadata for archival collections, including manipulating data to integrate unstructured and/or legacy information with standardized descriptions and repurposing metadata for reuse.
  • Experience managing digitization projects and born-digital archival content.
  • Experience with Encoded Archival Context for Corporate bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF).
  • Demonstrated experience processing digital archives.
  • Demonstrated experience or knowledge of web archiving.
  • Evidence of professional engagement at local, state, or national level.

The Department of Special Collections & Archives

The Department of Special Collections & Archives houses the UCI Libraries’ collections of manuscripts and archives, rare books, and notable subject collections. Archival collecting areas of particular strength and distinction include regional history (emphasizing Orange County and Southern California), the Southeast Asian Archive, the Critical Theory Archive (including the papers of Jacques Derrida, Wolfgang Iser, Paul de Man, and others), the University Archives (documenting the UC Irvine campus), dance and the performing arts (including the papers of Robert Cohen and choreographers Donald McKayle and Eugene Loring), and distinguished UCI faculty (including Nobel Laureates Frederick Reines and Sherwood Rowland). The Special Collections & Archives Department consists of 7 librarians (including the Department Head), 3 library assistants, and a number of student assistants and interns.

The UCI Libraries

The UCI Libraries values innovation and collaboration. We are committed to the University’s goal of diversity and inclusive excellence. The Libraries consist of the Langson Library, the Ayala Science Library, the Library Gateway Study Center, and the Grunigen Medical Library. These buildings contain over 3,300 public seats for study and research and provide nearly 525 public access computers. The UCI Libraries have a staff of approximately 145 FTE plus approximately 25 student assistant FTE. The library collection consists of over 3.8 million volumes, nearly 150,000 journals and serial titles, and an aggressively expanding electronic resources collection. The UCI Libraries are a member of the: Association of Research Libraries (ARL), California Digital Library (CDL), HathiTrust Digital Library, Center for Research Libraries (CRL), Coalition of Networked Information (CNI), Digital Library Federation (DLF), Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Pacific Rim Research Libraries Alliance (PRRLA), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and OCLC Research Library Partnership (OCLC RLP).

University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine, is nestled in over 1,500 acres of coastal foothills, five miles from the Pacific Ocean, between San Diego and Los Angeles. Founded in 1965, UCI has more than 31,500 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,600 faculty and staff. Nearly 67% of UCI students identify themselves as Asian American, African American, Chicano/Latino, or Native American. The University offers graduate degrees in more than 100 academic disciplines and interdisciplinary programs in addition to the M.D. and J.D. UCI’s academic programs are ranked nationally among the top universities; several doctoral programs are ranked in the top ten.

Librarians at the University of California Irvine are academic appointees and receive potential career status at the time of their initial appointment. Librarians periodically receive administrative and peer review for merit increases based on the following criteria: 1) professional competence and quality of service within the Library; 2) professional activity outside the Library; 3) university and public service; and 4) research and other creative activity.

Salary & Benefits: Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience based on the University of California pay scales. Appointment is anticipated to be at the Assistant Librarian, Associate Librarian, or Librarian rank with a salary of $49,165 – $75,453.

Librarians are entitled to two days per month of annual leave, thirteen paid holidays, and one day per month sick leave. The University has an excellent retirement system and offers a variety of group health, life, and disability insurance plans. Benefits are equal to approximately 40% of salary.

Deadline for Applications: Applications received by June 20, 2018 will receive first consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

To Apply: Qualified applicants who wish to be considered for this position should submit the information requested: cover letter; complete résumé; a statement that addresses past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a list of three references (names and contact information only) via UCI AP Recruit at:

Upon application, candidates should be in possession of proof of their legal right to employment in the U.S. In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, verification of legal right to work will be required between the time of final selection and hiring, and is absolutely essential in ultimately being hired.

This position description is listed on the UCI Libraries web site at with links to additional web sites featuring campus and community information.

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

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