Rare Books and Special Collections
(Full-time, ongoing)


UBC Library

The University of British Columbia Library is one of the largest academic libraries in Canada, ranked 14th among the Association of Research Libraries.  UBC Library has 14 branches and divisions, two campuses (Vancouver and Kelowna), one off-site hospital library, and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a multi-purpose teaching and learning facility.

The Library’s collection of over 7M items includes 1.4M ebooks, 229,020 electronic journals, 850,000 maps, audio, DVD/video and graphic materials, and 1, 703 bibliographic and fulltext databases.

More than 300 knowledgeable employees – librarians, management and professional staff, support staff and student staff – provide users with the excellent resources and services that they need to further their research, teaching and learning.

The Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) Division holds and manages the majority of the Library’s rare books, maps and manuscripts with a special emphasis on material related to British Columbia.  The archival collections at RBSC include the world-renowned Chung Collection, the archives of artist and author Douglas Coupland and the Langmann Family Collection of B.C. Photographs, containing over 18,000 images of B.C. and the Pacific Northwest. More information about Rare Books and Special Collections can be found on their website.

The UBC Library Strategic Plan 2010-2015 can be viewed online.


Overview of the position

Working in collaboration with the RBSC Head, the Archivist is responsible for the acquisition and management of important archival collections in support of the core collecting areas of RBSC. Tasks include but are not limited to: the creation and management of policy and practices in accordance to national standards and best practices, development and maintenance of relations with the donors and participation in the development of divisional policies and procedures. Furthermore, this position participates in the development of digitization projects involving RBSC archival holdings in all formats, develops the archival section of the RBSC website and provides reference services for archival collections and for all RBSC holdings especially British Columbia and Canadian history.




  • Graduate degree in Archival Studies (MAS) or equivalent is required from an accredited institution.
  • Experience working with archival material in all formats including born digital and digitized documents is required.
  • Strong interest in and demonstrated broad knowledge of B.C. and Canadian history and current affairs.
  • Excellent ability to speak, read and write English is essential.
  • Experience with computer technology and software, particularly library and archival management systems is essential.
  • The ability to work in a collaborative team environment and engage with professional and library assistant staff and the public is required.


  • A second degree in History or English is highly desirable.
    • Previous experience working in a rare book or library special collections environment would be an asset.
    • Experience in supervision is desirable.
    • Experience in making presentations and grant writing is desirable.
    • Working knowledge of either Chinese or Japanese languages would be an asset.


Working Relationships

This position reports to the Head, Rare Books and Special Collections and works closely with other professionals in the Division and the Library. The Archivist also supervises library assistants in routine clerical work relating to archival collections, supervises School of Library and Archival Studies (SLAIS) students’ practicum and summer students’ work on archival projects. Consults with colleagues as required. 


Terms of Appointment and Salary

This position will be filled as a full time ongoing position. If eligible and qualified, the successful applicant may be appointed with a confirmed appointment. Otherwise, there will be an initial three-year probationary appointment.  Normally, such an appointment is reviewed by the end of the second year of appointment, and a recommendation is made at that time to grant or not to grant a confirmed appointment.

Salary will be commensurate with experience and academic/professional qualifications.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. The University especially welcomes applications from visible minority groups, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply. However, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

Applications will include: a letter of application that includes a statement of citizenship/immigration status and indicates the candidate’s education, training and work experience in the areas listed above; a detailed and current curriculum vitae.

To view the complete job description and to submit an application, please visit the UBC Careers page at by midnight on May 16, 2014.


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