background

LIBRARY STAFF

KYLE ROBERTS 
Executive Director

Kyle B. Roberts was appointed the Executive Director of the Congregational Library & Archives in 2022. He received his BA in American Studies from Williams College and his PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to the CLA, he was Associate Director of Library & Museum Programming at the American Philosophical Society and Associate Professor of Public History and New Media and Director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities at Loyola University Chicago.

A scholar of Atlantic World religion, print, and library history, he is the author of Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 (Chicago, 2016), the co-editor, with Stephen Schloesser, of Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience 1814-2014 (Brill, 2017) and, with Mark Towsey, of Before the Public Library: Reading, Community, and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850 (Brill, 2017).

Kyle is an accomplished public historian and digital humanist whose collaborative projects include the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project, the Maryland Loyalism Project, and Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library System. In addition to being the consultant for numerous digital and public history projects, he sits on the executive committees of the American Catholic Historical Association, the New England Historical Association, the Urban History Association He is on the editorial and advisory boards for American Catholic Studies, Early American Studies, and portal.

ZACHARY BODNAR   
Archivist

Zachary Bodnar graduated with a BA in History and Psychology from Vassar College in 2015 and with a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Simmons University, with a concentration in archives, in 2018. Prior to his work at the CLA, Zachary worked in the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden archive, the Vassar College Special Collections, the Harvard Law School Library, and the Harvard Botany Libraries.

Zachary joined the CLA as a part-time Archives Assistant in 2017, helping to prepare materials for digitization through the New England’s Hidden Histories program, before later becoming a full-time Processing Archivist. In 2018, he took on the title of Archivist. His professional interests include metadata collection and management, digital archiving, audio/visual preservation, and archives management. Zachary is most proud of managing the tools that make the CLA’s archival materials, physical and digital, available and accessible to the CLA’s wide community and hopes CLA’s work can help the organization reach ever more people.

HEATHER KURTZ     
Director of Development

Heather Kurtz joined the Congregational Library & Archives in 2023. She previously served as the Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at the College of the Holy Cross. During her tenure at Holy Cross, she secured some of the largest charitable foundation gifts in the College’s history, totaling over $8 million to the Become More comprehensive campaign. Most recently, she secured a $20 million commitment from a single foundation to provide financial aid for underrepresented students. Funding secured through her office supported community service projects, academic scholarships, arts programming, social welfare, and mission-driven initiatives with a focus on social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior, while serving in the same role at Emerson College, she built strategic corporate partnerships to support financial aid, internships and experiential learning with partners including: EVgo, ViaCom (now Paramount Global) and Giorgio Armani. Additionally, she secured significant foundation support to fund programming, audience evaluation and capital investment in Boston’s Theater District, including the creation of the Media Art Gallery.

As Executive Director of CultureLEAP, she created new partnerships within the Worcester Public Schools to support innovative programs from 20 science, history, and art focused cultural institutions throughout the Central Massachusetts region. In honor of the program’s impact during her tenure, CultureLEAP was recognized by the Massachusetts State Legislature for excellent service to the community and awarded a Creative Schools grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Heather received a BA from Hamilton College and her Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in Museum Studies with a focus on nonprofit management from Harvard University.

LAUREN LEMLEY 
Communications Manager

Lauren Lemley joined the Congregational Library & Archives in 2022 after more than a decade of work in higher education. She holds a BS and an MA in Communication from Abilene Christian University and a PhD in Rhetoric and Public Affairs from Texas A&M University. Lauren’s first connection with the CLA was as a researcher and educator, accessing archival manuscripts for writing projects and course development. Her academic work on topics such as the rhetoric of puritan sermons, the role of justice and ethics in public memory narratives, and the rhetoric of witch hunting in seventeenth-century transatlantic puritan communities has been selected for presentation in a number of venues, including the Rhetoric Society of America, the National Communication Association, and the Society of Early Americanists. As Communications Manager, Lauren is responsible for sharing information about the collections and programs of the CLA through social media, the website, email, and print publications.

Image

wmccarthy@14beacon.org   
ext. 228

BILLY MCCARTHY IV  
Archivist

Billy McCarthy graduated with a BA in History from Bridgewater State College and completed his Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at Simmons University with a concentration in Archival Management. Billy started working at CLA through a graduate internship where he processed a collection about the Congregational Training School for Women. He stayed on a part-time basis processing collections and staffing the reference desk until he was hired full-time in 2018.

Billy is the Head of Reader Services, helping the CLA’s visitors with reference requests and facilitating in person research. His work also includes processing some of the oldest and more complex collections housed in the archives, including the Park Street Church records and the Old South Church records. Billy also serves as the collection manager for the archives, working with CLA’s offsite vendor to protect and maintain the organization’s archival records. Some of his professional interests include increasing access, collection management, processing of complex materials, and facilitating research.

TRICIA PEONE  
Project Director, New England's Hidden Histories

Tricia Peone joined the CLA in 2022. She previously worked at Historic New England, where she was a research scholar for the Recovering New England’s Voices project. She has also previously worked as the public programs director at New Hampshire Humanities, a university lecturer teaching classes on the Salem witch trials, early New England, and public history, and as a researcher for cultural heritage organizations. Her scholarship focuses on early modern magic and witchcraft and her work on these subjects has appeared in journals, books, blogs, and on radio and television. She holds a PhD in history from the University of New Hampshire with a specialization in the early modern Atlantic world and history of science.

MEAGHAN WRIGHT  
Librarian

Meaghan Wright earned her Bachelor’s degree in History and English from the University of Durham and leveraged her love of history, literature, and organization towards the library arts. She graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Masters in Librarianship with High Honors. Before coming to the CLA, Meaghan worked as a reference librarian at the Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum for over six years, honing skills in research and reference, cataloguing, statistics, social media, and exhibitions. She was an active member of both the staff-led Climate + Environment Ideators and DEIA Working Group at PEM, and remains committed to sustainability and DEIA. She has attended four classes at the Rare Book School on book production and design and is a member of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association, in which capacity she served as a subcommittee chair for the RBMS Climate Readiness Task Force 2020-2022. In her capacity as Librarian, she looks forward to expanding access to the collection through improved description, data tracking, and outreach.