Assistant Academic Specialist University of California, Berkeley

Job Description

Regional Oral History Office

The Bancroft Library
Hiring range: Assistant Specialist I  III
Annual salary: $40,116 to $45,732, based upon qualifications

This is a full-time appointment available starting July 2013.

The Regional Oral History Office (ROHO), a division of UC Berkeleys Bancroft Library, seeks to hire two junior scholars to fill the positions of assistant academic specialist in recent U.S. history, with preferred expertise in at least one of the fields: science and technology, arts and culture, business and the economy, natural resources and the environment, and/or politics, government, and social movements. 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 researchand believe in the value of publicly-engaged scholarship. We seek an individual who possesses an expertise in one of the above mentioned fields, yet also is versatile enough to interview in areas outside his/her immediate area of knowledge.

ROHO documents the history of California, the nation, and the interconnected global arena and produces carefully researched, audio/video-recorded and transcribed oral histories and interpretative historical materials for the widest possible use. Since its inception in 1954, ROHO 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. ROHO 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 ROHO website.

The Environment

Internationally renowned, the Berkeley Library is the oldest and largest library in the University of California system, and a major research facility. The Library serves over 25,000 undergraduates, 10,000 graduate students, and 1,500 faculty. Current collections number over 11 million volumes and over 65,000 serial titles. Library facilities on the Berkeley campus include the Doe/Moffitt Libraries, The Bancroft Library, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library and more than 20 additional libraries serving subject specialties and the professional schools. The Library is a member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and is an active participant in the California Digital Library. The Library has a budget of $50 million, and employs approximately 325 full-time staff, and more than 500 part-time students.

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 and associate 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 and associate director in development and management of educational initiatives, including but not limited to the annual advanced oral history institute.



  • Advanced degree (M.A. or higher) in history, or a related field, with a research and publication record in the relevant field of expertise
  • Extensive 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 supervisory abilities
  • Computer literate, in standard word processing programs and Internet research
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills


  • Formal training in oral history methodology preferred
  • Teaching experience highly desirable
  • Ability to work with undergraduate and graduate students and guide them on their projects
  • Proposal writing and fund raising experience extremely desirable
  • Fluency with up-to-date software programs and other tools, such as Drupal, MS Project, Adobe Premiere, Google docs, etc.
  • Ability to work in languages other than English a plus.

The Library at UC Berkeley is committed to the support and encouragement of a multicultural environment and seeks candidates who can make positive contributions in a context of ethnic and cultural diversity.

DEADLINE: Consideration will be given to applications received by April 24, 2013.

Submit applications online at Applications must include a cover letter detailing a statement of qualifications, a chapter-length writing sample, curriculum vitae noting their education and relevant work experience, and the names, and contact information of three references who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s qualifications for this position.

Send inquiries to:

Susan E. Wong
Director, Library Human Resources
Library Human Resources Department
110 Doe Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Phone:(510) 642-3778

The University of California is anEqual Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer

Assistant Academic Specialist University of California, Berkeley