Permanent Staff

Archivist for Student Life and Culture

Ellen Swain

Ellen has directed the Student Life and Culture Archives since 1999. She holds a BA from Earlham College, an MA in American History from Indiana University and an MS in Information Science from the University of Illinois. She is a former president of the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) (2011-2013) and a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA)(2013). Her favorite record series is the Allan Hicks Papers (RS 41/20/130). Contact Ellen at

Archives Program Officer

Katie Nichols

Katie has worked for the University Archives since 2014 and joined the Archives Research Center team in 2019. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MS in Library and Information Science. One of her favorite record series is the Walrus ( RS 41/66/869), an alternative student newspaper published during the 1960s and ’70s. Contact Katie at

Students & Assistants

Spenser Bailey

Spenser has worked for the Student Life and Culture Archives and Archives Research Center since he was a freshman at UIUC in 2017.  He started out as an undergraduate assistant, became a graduate assistant, and now (Spring 2024) is a postgraduate Archives Research Assistant.  He holds a BA in History (2020), a MA in History (2023), and a MS in Library and Information Science (2023), all from the University of Illinois.  If he had to pick a favorite record series, it would probably be the James Snively Papers (RS 26/20/198).

Katie Higley

Katie is our newest staff member, arriving at ARC and SLC in fall 2023 as a graduate assistant.