F. Gerald and Elsie Ham Scholarship: William J. Levay

William J. Levay, a graduate student in the School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute in New York City, is the 2014 recipient of the Elsie and F. Gerald Ham Scholarship. The award offers $7,500 in financial support to a graduate student in his or her second year of archival studies at a US university. Scholarship selection criteria include the applicant’s past performance in his or her graduate program in archival studies as well as faculty members’ assessment of the student’s prospects for contributing to the archives profession.

Prior to attending Pratt Institute, Levay worked as a processing archivist and graduate assistant at New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections as well as the archives assistant at the Associated Press (AP) Corporate Archives. In this position, Levay processed the Vienna Bureau Records, a large collection of news wires dating from the 1950s through the 1990s, sent to the Vienna Bureau from AP correspondents working behind the Iron Curtain. During his time at Pratt, Levay has furthered his involvement in the archives profession through internships, part-time work, and participation in workshops and conferences offered by the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, the New York Archives Conference, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Levay's interests include digital archives and linked data. He currently works as a graduate assistant on the Linked Jazz project and he was the sole developer of the new website of the ARChive of Contemporary Music.

“There is no doubt in my mind that [Levay] will go on to make valuable and imaginative contributions, no matter what type of library or archival work he lands,” one supporter wrote. “He has all the ingredients for success: curiosity, optimism, hard work, [and] humor.” 

The award was created in 1998 by SAA Fellow, past president, and longtime member F. Gerald Ham and his wife Elsie.