Associate Librarian - Archivist for Regional History Collections  -- University of California, Merced

Post date: February 23,  2023

The UC Merced Library invites applications for an Associate Librarian - Archivist for Regional History collections who will focus on curating, preserving, and promoting access to archival collections documenting the agricultural and environmental history of the Sierra Nevada-Central Valley region of California.

UC Merced, the tenth and newest University of California campus, is situated at the intersection of the San Joaquin Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and is poised to serve as a major base of research supporting equity, environmental sustainability, and social mobility. A Hispanic-Serving Institution and the youngest campus to reach Carnegie R2 status in the history of US higher education, UC Merced opened in 2005 to bring the highest levels of educational opportunity to a region where the poverty rate is nearly three times higher than the national level and where only 16.5% of the population holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. Of the over 9,000 students enrolled at UC Merced, 73% of undergraduates and 48% of graduate students are the first in their families to attend college. The San Joaquin Valley is the most technologically advanced and productive farming region in the world, and its fertility is directly related to the adjacent Sierra Nevada range, where the snowpack has served as a critical supply of water to the state. Human activity in the modern era has transformed these two landscapes: displacing native populations; harnessing water, soil, and other resources to grow crops and provide energy; and establishing public lands such as Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests to both conserve resources and attract recreationists from around the world.

The UC Merced Library is building a Sierra Nevada-Central Valley Archive to document these transformations, encompassing materials in all formats that trace the history and impact of human settlement in the region; its climate, geology, and natural resources; the government and non-government entities that have shaped the region’s land, water, ecosystems, policies, and public perceptions; and the region's representation in the creative arts. Collections include the records of UC Cooperative Extension (over 600 linear feet) which reflect the historical partnership between the university and federal, state, and local entities to improve agricultural practices and life in rural communities; photographic collections documenting farmworker communities in the Valley; collections related to Yosemite National Park; and the archives of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, which are housed at UC Merced under an arrangement with the National Parks. The library has launched a major capital project to expand storage, instructional, and programming space for the library’s archives and special collections as a result of a successful National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) capital grant application and matching funds designated by the Chancellor.

Reporting to the Director of Strategic Initiatives, Archives and Special Collections and working with librarians and other professional staff, this academic position will play a key role in defining collection priorities and developing programs that will promote the discovery and use of these collections.

For more details and to apply: