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 the position of processing archivist and then later his current position of 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.

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).

William McCarthy IV

Processing and Reference Archivist
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William graduated with a B.A. in History from Bridgewater State College and is completing his M.A. in History and a MLIS from Simmons College with a concentration in Archival Management. William first started working here as a Simmons College intern, then was hired on as a part-time processing archivist. He now works full time and has taken on reference duties alongside his work as a processer. His primary focus is on making our collections available and accessible to as many people as possible to promote the pursuit of knowledge.

Jules Thomson

Digital Projects Archivist
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Jules has a broad background in the heritage sector with advanced degrees in Mediaeval History and Archeology from the University of St Andrews and Oxford, UK, respectively, and a 2019 Archives-focused MLIS from Simmons University in Boston. In 2013 she completed a traineeship in digitization and digital archives with the National Archives UK, and went on to work for 4 years as Digital Access Officer with The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, dealing largely with image collections and digital image libraries in a bustling public archive. She came on board with CL&A in 2017 as Publication Assistant for New England's Hidden Histories, a role which has expanded to include further digital and archival duties. In working with the CL&A's collections and Colonial-era material from our NEHH project partners she hopes to promote access to our shared past and to help foster an understanding of its resonance in modern times.

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.


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