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Director, Special Research Collections

Position overview

Position title: Director, Special Research Collections
Salary range: Please see Table 26A for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $70,635 - $152,955.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: September 2024
Position duration: Potential Career Status

Application Window

Open date: April 4, 2024

Most recent review date: Friday, May 17, 2024 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: Friday, Oct 4, 2024 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

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 expected effective date of this position is September 2024.


Reporting to the Associate University Librarian for Research Resources and Scholarly Communication, the Director of Special Research Collections (SRC) provides leadership for SRC collections, programs, curators, and staff. 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 special research collections and archives. The Director promotes a workplace culture that is fulfilling, productive, empowering, and mutually respectful.

Responsibilities include:

  • Establishes priorities and guidelines for the ongoing work of SRC curators and staff engaged in responsible curation, stewardship, preservation, and providing timely access to special research collections. Manages hiring, supervision, training, coaching, and professional guidance to direct reports.
  • Provides leadership in planning and managing SRC collection development, public services, and space management, including the management of materials housed in the Library and remote locations.
  • 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. 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 base collections budget, endowments, budgets for grant-funded projects, and student staffing.
  • Develops and identifies fundraising opportunities for establishing and growing 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 and Scholarly Communication, curators, subject librarians, and other professional colleagues to identify new sources and contacts for enhancing collections and their access and use.
  • Collaborates with the Library stakeholders to organize, manage, and spearhead events, donor recognition events, and exhibition openings. Works with the Communications and Marketing Manager to publicize events, collections, exhibitions, and programs.
  • Establishes and sustains faculty 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 & Discovery Services, Digital Library Development, Collection Strategies, Access Services, Research & Engagement, Teaching & Learning, and the Events & Exhibitions Manager. Collaborates with staff across the Library to establish best practices for the preservation, security, and access of Library collections and related public service activities.
  • 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.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

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


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 the William Wyles Collection. In addition, the unit supports the Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), a database of master recordings made by American record companies during the 78 rpm 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 composed of 15 permanent FTE employees, including curators and staff. 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.

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. 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
Appointment or continued employment is contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

Why UC Santa Barbara


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

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 two years experience managing library staff

At least two years of professional 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 statement of contributions to diversity.

Preferred qualifications

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, digital preservation, and digitization of analog formats

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

Demonstrated experience with preservation standards and their challenges for a variety of content types

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

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

Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively with multiple constituencies in a complex environment

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

Experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support

Experience with public programming and exhibits

Experience working and supervising in a union environment

Demonstrated commitment to professional development

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

Application Requirements

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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About UC Santa Barbara

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, age or protected veteran status. For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA