Library Staff

Sara Belmonte

Assistant Librarian
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sbelmonte@14beacon.org

With a B.A. from Boston University in English and anthropology, Sara went on to earn her MLIS from Simmons College, Boston. She 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.

Margaret Bendroth

Executive Director
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mbendroth@14beacon.org

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.

Tom Clark

Library Director
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tclark@14beacon.org

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 BA from Tufts University.

James F. Cooper

New England's Hidden Histories Director
jcooper@14beacon.org

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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rduckworth@14beacon.org

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.

Carolyn Hewitt

Director of Development
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chewitt@14beacon.org

With a background in education and non-profits Cary joined the library to create and execute a sustainable plan for advancement. Cary holds a BA from the University of Connecticut and earned an MBA from Simmons School of Management. She has served on several non-profit boards and is currently active on advisory boards. Cary enjoys working with the library staff and ACA Board to promote the story of the library and its treasures, as well as our historically significant building, Congregational House. She is also a practicing artist exhibiting work in Boston and Arizona.

Jillian Jennett

Development & Communications Coordinator
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jjennett@14beacon.org

Jillian earned her B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing Communications from Simmons College in 2016 and joined the Congregational Library & Archives' development team shortly after. With experience in event planning, graphic design, social media, and writing, and a background in archival work, she brings a unique and diverse set of skills to create strategies to further the development of the CLA.

Taylor McNeilly

Processing Archivist
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tmcneilly@14beacon.org

Taylor studied at Simmons College in the dual degree archives program, earning a Masters of Arts in History and a Masters of Library and Information Science with an Archives Management concentration. His experience includes the Providence Public Library Rhode Island Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Archives, and the Simmons College Archives. Taylor also has a background in Japanese Studies, including a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His professional interests focus on metadata and issues of postmodern subjectivity, language, and culture in archival description.

Cristina Prochilo

Archivist
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cprochilo@14beacon.org

Cristina's experience includes positions at Harvard Planning and Project Management, the Boston Preservation Alliance, the Northeast Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Park Service. A graduate of Smith College, Cristina received a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University, as well as a Dual Masters in U.S. History and Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Cristina is particularly interested in questions of access and collections management and uses her skills in project implementation and strategic planning. She is a member of Society of American Archivists.

Jessica Steytler

Archivist and Records Manager
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jsteytler@14beacon.org

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.