Library Staff

Margaret Bendroth

Executive Director
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Peggy has served as Executive Director for the Congregational Library since August 2004. She received her B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of several books, including Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present (Yale 1993) and Fundamentalists and the City: Conflict and Division in Boston's Churches, 1885 to 1950 (Oxford 2005), and A School of the Church: Andover Newton Across Two Centuries (Eerdmans 2008). Peggy has edited several other volumes, including Women and Twentieth-Century Protestantism (Illinois 2002). In The Spiritual Practice of Remembering (Eerdmans 2013) she summons readers to remember and honor the past. Her most recent book The Last Puritans: Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past (UNC 2015) tells the story of how Congregationalists engaged deeply with their denomination's storied past and recast their modern identity. Peggy recently served as President of the American Society of Church History.

Zachary Bodnar

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Zachary Bodnar graduated with a B.A. in History and B.A. in Psychology from Vassar College and graduated with a MLIS from Simmons College with a concentration in archives. Zachary first joined the Library as a part-time worker in the spring of 2017 to assist in preparing materials for digitization before taking on his current position as a full time processing archivist. He is most interested in digital archives and metadata collection and standards. He is excited to help shape the future of the Library’s archival program and be a part of the New England’s Hidden Histories Team.

Tom Clark

Library Director
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Tom brings a wealth of experience and leadership in corporate libraries and library-related professional organizations to the Library & Archives. Starting as a newspaper librarian, he established himself in the Greater Boston community with his work in corporate libraries. Tom has led projects in library automation, in-depth research, digital conversion, collection development, social media and strategic planning. He has been recognized for his service by Simmons College, as well as the Boston Special Libraries Association, where he continues to serve in key leadership roles.

Tom holds a Masters of Library Sciences from Simmons College Graduate School of Library & Information Science and a B.A. from Tufts University.

James F. Cooper

New England's Hidden Histories Director

Jeff Cooper serves as Director of New England's Hidden Histories. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and taught in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University. Before becoming Director, Jeff worked for many summers with the Library & Archives, helping to build the manuscript church records collection. He is the author of Tenacious of Their Liberties: The Congregationalists in Colonial America (Oxford, 1999) and has edited, with Kenneth P. Minkema, The Sermon Notebook of Samuel Parris, 1689–1694 (1993), and a volume of church records from Reading and Rumney-Marsh, Massachusetts (2006). His most recent article "Cuffee's 'Relation': a Faithful Slave Speaks through the Project for the Preservation of Congregational Church Records", can be found in the New England Quarterly (June 2013).

Robin Duckworth

Digital Projects Specialist / Webmaster
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Robin has worked at the library since 2002, after graduating with a degree in Classics from Boston University. She has taken on many responsibilities over the years, including circulation, reference, the organization and cataloging of the library's many periodicals, and coordinating an overhaul of the physical collection. She is now serving as webmaster and overseeing the library's growing digital program.

Jillian Jennett

Development & Communications Specialist
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Jillian earned her B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing Communications from Simmons College in 2016 and joined the Congregational Library & Archives shortly after. She has spent her entire career working for or on the board of nonprofits and brings years of experience in communications and development for New England cultural heritage institutions. Her responsibilities include all member and donor relations, communications, social media, marketing, publications, fundraising, design and events. Please contact Jillian for any media and press inquiries.

Jessica Steytler

Senior Archivist and Records Manager
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Jessica has served as the Archivist for the Congregational Library since April of 2000. She received her B.A. in history from Ohio University in 1997 and her MSLS with an archive concentration from Simmons in 1998. She is focused on improving access to the wide variety of manuscript material and offers seminars to churches on how to care for their records. She is always interested in providing educational opportunities within the Congregational Library community and the greater New England region. She has been deeply involved with the New England Archivists and has served on the board and a number of committees over the years.

Sara Trotta

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With a B.A. from Boston University in English and anthropology, Sara went on to earn her MLIS from Simmons College, Boston, Sara was introduced to the Library & Archives through a graduate internship. Her responsibilities include reference, cataloging, collection maintenance and responding to general inquiries regarding our collections.