Welcome New University Archivist, Ali Zawoyski!

Posted on November 8, 2019

Ali Zawoyski stands and poses with a framed color print of the Wren Building.
Ali Zawoyski, University Archivist

Say hello to a new face at Swem Library! Alissa “Ali” Zawoyski began work as William & Mary Libraries’ new University Archivist on October 25. 

Ali comes to us from the Eberly Family Special Collections at Pennsylvania State University Libraries, where she served as the Collection Management Specialist since 2013. In this role, Ali was in charge of leading collection management projects and accessioning all new archival materials. Before her time at Penn State, she worked at the Centre County Library & Historical Museum in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania as the Historical Collections Manager. Ali’s experience in both archival management and public outreach initiatives prepares her for her new role at William & Mary.

She received a BA in History from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and an MA in Records and Archives Management from University College London. Ali also has a post-MA Certificate in Digital Archives and Records Management from San Jose State University.

As University Archivist, Ali will document and promote the history of William & Mary. She will work with university departments and student organizations to acquire both official and non-official records in all formats, and help organize events that commemorate all aspects of William & Mary’s long history. She also serves as the university’s records officer in support of William & Mary’s compliance to the Virginia Public Records Act and the Retention Schedules maintained by The Library of Virginia.

When asked what draws her to libraries and archives, Ali reminisced over her past jobs, all of which were in libraries, either academic or public. She enjoys the everyday practice of learning and discovery and finds fulfillment in sharing knowledge and helping others search the archive. “You always learn something new,” she says, and it is this excitement and possibility that greet her at William & Mary.

In particular, Ali looks forward to working with students and student groups. “I want students to feel that their stories matter and their time here matters,” she adds. As University Archivist, Ali will lead the charge in collaborating with myriad campus organizations to maintain a representative university archive that is always growing and evolving. She recognizes the power an archive has in creating and communicating history, and she strives to cultivate connections that include all members of the William & Mary community as valued partners in the university archive. 

When she’s not in the library, Ali enjoys traveling to new places and learning the local culture through radio stations and newspapers. We feel confident that the Williamsburg region will provide her with plenty to explore. 

The next time you visit Swem, make sure to stop by the Special Collections Research Center to give Ali a warm William & Mary welcome!

A vestige of archivists past found in Ali's new office. This plaque used to hang in the Campus Center to commemorate the life and service of archivist Herbert Ganter.