Monday, October 12, 2015

University of California, Berkeley - Academic Specialist (Recent U.S. History), Library

Open date: September 24th, 2015

Next review date: October 30th, 2015 (Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.)

Final date: September 23rd, 2016 (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.)

Hiring range: Assistant Specialist, Step I - Associate Specialist, Step II; $42,780-56,808 per annum, based upon qualifications. This is a full time appointment.

Anticipated start date: December 1, 2015

Send inquiries to:
  Susan E. Wong
  Director, Library Human Resources
  Phone: (510) 642-3778

To apply, visit

Position Description

The Oral History Center (OHC) of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library seeks to hire a scholar to fill the position of academic specialist in recent U.S. history, with preferred expertise in at least one of the following fields: the history of arts, arts administration, and philanthropy; business; education (particularly higher education); and/or science, medicine, and technology (particularly the history of engineering). The academic specialist develops oral history projects, writes proposals and seeks funding, conducts interviews, participates in and coordinates educational initiatives, and engages in public outreach activities. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to serious research and believe in the value of publicly-engaged scholarship. We seek an individual who possesses an expertise in one or more of the above mentioned fields, yet also is versatile enough to interview in areas outside his/her immediate area of knowledge. The position requires occasional travel.


The UC Berkeley Library is an internationally renowned research and teaching facility at one of the nation's premier public universities. In a highly diverse and intellectually rich environment, Berkeley serves a campus community of 25,500 undergraduate students, 10,300 graduate students, and a faculty of 1,500. The Library comprises 20 campus libraries - including the Doe/Moffitt Libraries, the Bancroft Library, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library and subject specialty libraries. With a collection of more than 11 million volumes and a collections budget of over $15 million, the Library offers extensive collections in all formats and robust services to connect users with those collections and build their related research skills.

Formerly known as the Regional Oral History Office, OHC documents the history of California, the nation, and the interconnected global arena by producing carefully researched, video-recorded and transcribed oral histories and interpretative historical materials for the widest possible use. Since its inception in 1954, OHC has carried out interviews in a variety of major subject areas, which include: politics and government; law and jurisprudence; arts and letters; business and labor; social and community history; University of California history; natural resources and the environment; and science, medicine, and technology. Interviews have been used as source material for monographs, books, articles, stage productions, radio programs, video and film documentaries, websites and blogs, and dissertations and theses. OHC has conducted over 4,000 oral histories, which totals tens of thousands of interview hours. Nearly every interview that has been transcribed is available for the public to read on the OHC website.

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and special collections in the United States. As the primary center of special collections within the library system at Berkeley, Bancroft supports major research and reference activities and plays a leading role in the development of research collections. Bancroft holdings include over 600,000 volumes, 55,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 8,000,000 photographs and other pictorial materials, 72,000 microforms, and 23,000 maps. Additional information regarding The Library and The Bancroft Library is available on the web at:


The academic specialist works independently under the general supervision of the director to:

  • Plan and coordinate oral history projects documenting various historical topics
  • Create work plans and budgets, including securing necessary funds, for in-depth oral history interviews
  • Research and conduct interviews
  • Work alongside research, editorial, and technical staff in all aspects of oral history processing, including editing, overseeing production tasks, preparing supporting material, and developing of multimedia content
  • Assist director in development and management of educational initiatives, including but not limited to the annual advanced oral history institute and introductory oral history workshops


Minimum basic qualification at the time of application:

  • Advanced degree (M.A. or equivalent degree or higher) in history, or a related field, with a research and publication record in the relevant field of expertise

Additional Required Qualifications by the time of hire:

  • Experience in planning, conducting, editing, and completing in-depth archival oral histories
  • Excellent organizational skills and careful attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects in a timely manner and within budget while maintaining consistent high quality
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain good rapport with interviewees, advisors, and donors, and to work collaboratively with office staff
  • Demonstrated project management, training, and leadership abilities
  • Computer literate, in standard word processing programs and Internet research
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

Additional Preferred Qualifications:

  • Formal training in oral history methodology preferred
  • Expertise in at least one of the following fields: the history of arts, arts administration, and philanthropy, business, education (particularly higher education), and/or science, medicine, and technology (particularly the history of engineering)
  • Teaching experience highly desirable
  • Ability to work with undergraduate and graduate students and guide them on their projects
  • Proposal-writing and fundraising experience extremely desirable
  • Fluency with up-to-date software programs such as Drupal, MS Project, Adobe Creative Suite (particularly Audition and Premiere), Google docs, etc.
  • Ability to work in languages other than English a plus

Academic Specialists are entitled to appropriate professional development leave, vacation leave, sick leave, and all other benefits granted non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits.

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