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Academic Specialist – Historian of Science, Technology, and Medicine – Oral History Center, Bancroft Library

Position overview

Position title: Associate Specialist
Salary range: Minimum salary of $67,400 -- The posted UC academic salary scales ( set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment. See the following table(s) for the salary scale(s) for this position []. ‘Off-scale salaries’ and other components of pay, which would yield compensation that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: June 1, 2023

Application Window

Open date: January 23, 2023

Most recent review date: Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 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: Monday, Jan 15, 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 Oral History Center (OHC) of The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley seeks to hire a scholar to fill the position of academic specialist in recent U.S. history, with expertise in at least one of the following fields: the history of science, medicine, technology, and engineering in academic, business, and policy contexts. The academic specialist conceives of, develops, and manages oral history projects; writes proposals; raises funds through grant writing and donor engagement; conducts interviews; participates in and coordinates educational initiatives, and engages in public outreach activities and interpretive work, such as creating podcasts. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to serious research and believe in the value of institutional oral history and publicly engaged scholarship. While the focus of the work is in the above mentioned field, the candidate should be versatile enough to interview people in a wide range of areas as needed. Although some interviewing will likely be conducted remotely, the bulk of the work will be performed in-person in the San Francisco Bay Area. The position requires occasional travel outside of the Bay Area.

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 beyond by producing carefully researched, video-recorded and transcribed oral histories and interpretative historical materials for the widest possible use. Since its inception in 1953, 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, 1,000,000 photographs and other pictorial materials, 72,000 microforms, and 23,000 maps.

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

  • Plan and coordinate oral history projects documenting various historical topics that align with the strategic direction of the OHC and the UC Library
  • Create work plans and budgets, including securing necessary funds, for in-depth oral history interviews and multi-interview projects
  • 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 development of multimedia content
  • Assist in development and management of educational initiatives, including but not limited to the annual advanced oral history institute, introductory oral history workshop, and K-12 curriculum

The UC Berkeley Library is committed to supporting and encouraging a multicultural environment and seeks candidates who can make positive and imaginative contributions in a context of ethnic and cultural diversity.

UC Academic Specialists are academic appointees and are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, the United Auto Workers, Local 8510.

Academic Specialists are entitled to appropriate professional development leave, vacation leave, sick leave, and all other benefits granted to 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.

Information on the Library:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Advanced degree (Master's or equivalent international degree or higher)

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Possess research and publication record

Preferred qualifications
  • Advanced degree in recent US history, history of science, medicine, and technology or a related field, with a research and publication record in the relevant field of expertise
  • Excellent organizational skills and careful attention to detail
  • Demonstrated project management, training, and leadership abilities
  • Facility with Internet and periodical database research
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects in a timely manner and within budget while consistently maintaining high quality
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain good rapport with interviewees, advisors, and donors, and to work collaboratively with project partners, office staff, and Library and other stakeholders
  • Proposal-writing and fundraising experience extremely desirable
  • Experience in planning, conducting, editing, and completing in-depth archival oral histories
  • Doctorate, preferably in the field of history of science, technology, and medicine
  • Formal training in oral history methodology preferred
  • Expertise in the history of science, medicine, and technology, and engineering
  • Teaching experience an asset
  • Ability to work with and guide undergraduate and graduate students, who may conduct research, provide other assistance, and contribute to the UC Library blog
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, belonging and anti-racism
  • Fluency with up-to-date software programs such as Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Audition and Premiere project management software, such as Asana; web content management systems, such as WordPress; MS Word; Google docs; etc.
  • Ability to work in languages other than English a plus

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - C.V. noting degrees and relevant work experience

  • Cover Letter - Cover letter detailing a statement of qualifications

  • Writing Sample - Chapter length writing sample

  • Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley (for additional information go to

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
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Campus Information

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley 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 complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality prior to submitting their letter.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Positions that are represented by a collective bargaining unit or agent have particular contracts. For more information, please refer to the relevant contract: Lecturer (IX) contract, Postdoctoral (PX) contract, Academic Researcher (RA) contract, and Librarian (LX ) contract. Questions about represented positions can be directed to the hiring unit.

Job location

Berkeley, CA