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Katie Nash, head of University Archives, displays the May 1921 Octopus, a UW–Madison humor magazine, in which what’s now being called the first meme ever appeared. Photo by Emily Hamer

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries are pleased to welcome new University Archivist, Katie Nash. After starting in April 2018, Nash quickly settled into her new role managing and overseeing the daily operations in the University Archives. She works closely with the University Archives staff to ensure the people, places, events, and stories associated with UW-Madison are collected, shared, and carefully preserved for generations to come.

Nash received her BA in Anthropology and a minor in Sociology from Appalachian State University, and later received her Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2011, she became a Certified Archivist. Prior to her role at UW-Madison, Nash worked as a Special Collections Librarian and Archivist at Elon University in North Carolina, and as a College Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at Williams College in Massachusetts.

As the current University Archivist at UW-Madison, Nash works closely with staff who manage the Oral History Program, the Records Management operation, anything pertaining to digital collections and media, and general collection development, as well as the arrangement and description of collections.

“The team in University Archives is truly amazing. Everyone is so knowledgeable, hardworking, service-orientated, creative, and not shy about sharing their great senses of humor,” Nash noted. “These traits are crucial to creating and working in a successful and forward thinking environment.”

When discussing her vision and goals she hopes to share with UW-Madison, Nash said, “We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’re eager to carve out new initiatives, partnerships, and collaborative opportunities across campus.”

Due to several staff transitions and retirements in University Archives recently, the department has faced some challenges that Nash said she believes can be used as opportunities: to improve workflows, policies, procedures, spaces, and much more. She added, “Although we are all eager for some things to happen and change quickly, we must be methodical and thoughtful in how we approach and communicate change to the wider community. We want to make sure that we continue to provide the highest quality service to the UW-Madison community, alumni, friends of UW, and the public.”

The department is excited to welcome Nash to the team. David Pavelich, her mentor, said, “It’s so wonderful to have Katie in this role. She’s energetic, positive, ambitious, and forward-thinking, and she brings with her a depth of experience in university and college archives that’s very hard to match.” He added, “Running the archives for an ambitious university of this size and with this much history is exciting – but also challenging – work. Katie has an excellent sense of humor, and she has already discovered Babcock ice cream, so she’s well prepared for any challenges this campus can throw at her.”

When she’s not working through the archives, Nash enjoys jumping at any opportunity to try new restaurants, especially bakeries and places with delicious vegetarian food. She also enjoys working out and getting outside to hike, walk, bike, practice yoga, and generally take in everything Madison has to offer.

Welcome to UW-Madison, Katie!