Tanya Zanish-Belcher received her B.A. (1983) in History and Medieval Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University and M.A. (1990) in Historical and Archival Administration from Wright State University. She began as a Special Collections Archivist at the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History. In 1995, she became the Curator for the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering at the Iowa State University Library, and in 1998 was promoted to Head of the Special Collections Department and Head of the University Archives. She administers a department containing 15,000 linear ft. of archival material, over 1,000,000 photographic images, 60,000 rare books, and 10,000 motion picture films with a staff of 4 faculty, 3 para-professionals, and numerous student employees and interns. The Department has an active outreach and reference program, and won the National History Day in Iowa Kids Count! Award for Outstanding Service to Youth Researchers in 2004.
She has numerous publications, and current research includes the role of oral history in documenting women in science and issues relating to archival collections related to reproduction. Tanya has given numerous presentations to local and regional groups, as well as professional organizations such as the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA). She currently serves as the vice president of MAC and as a member of SAA’s Membership Committee. At Iowa State, she recently was named a Wakonse Fellow and has also received a W. Robert Parks Honors Commendation for her work with the University’s Honors Program.