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Library to Combine Archives and Special Collections

This summer, the library will combine its Special Collections department and its Archives and Institutional Assets program to form a new department: Archives and Special Collections.

Special Collections houses, stewards, and provides students and researchers with access to the library’s rare books, manuscript collections, photographs, map collection, and the University Archives, which tell the story of UC Davis.

Archives and Institutional Assets preserves valuable university records and faculty research, including born-digital and non-traditional materials such as faculty websites, email, and visual media. The program also develops systems for “archiving” faculty work in real time throughout their careers.

As the day-to-day work of the two units is closely related and often directly overlapping, combining them will allow the library to build upon natural synergies to increase efficiency and quality of service for the campus and researchers around the world. For example, operating as a single unit will facilitate greater awareness of all such collections among the combined department staff, enabling them to guide patrons more quickly to the materials they need. The new organizational structure also brings the library into alignment with industry standards among comparable academic libraries both within and outside the UC system.  

Archives and Institutional Assets will continue to function as a designated program within the new department to ensure that it remains clear to the wider campus community whom to contact for help archiving or accessing university records and research. Similarly, the department will include a University Archivist, with primary responsibility for the University Archives, among its staff.

As a part of this organizational change and following the retirement of the previous Head of Special Collections in 2017, the library is recruiting a new Head of Archives and Special Collections to lead the department.


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