Kyle B. Roberts Named Executive Director of the Congregational Library & Archives

September 9, 2022


The Congregational Library and Archives (CLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kyle B. Roberts as its next Executive Director.

Dr. Roberts previously served as Associate Director of Library & Museum Programming at the American Philosophical Society, where he oversaw three research centers and scholarly and educational programming for the nation’s oldest learned society. Before that, he was Associate Professor of Public History and New Media and Director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities at Loyola University Chicago.

CLA Board Chair, Richard Elliott commented, “Kyle's deep experience as historian, scholar, and digital humanist not only represents who the Congregational Library and Archives is, but where we need to go. He understands not only the historic value of our content, but how to make that content accessible using contemporary technology and scholarship. In short, where CLA's motto has been ‘History Matters,’ Kyle Roberts understands that history continues to matter, and we look forward to his leading our organization into a very bright future.”

An accomplished public historian and digital humanist, Roberts holds a B.A. in American Studies from Williams College and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of the award-winning Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 (Chicago, 2016), which uncovers the role played by religion in the development of the modernizing American city, as well as several anthologies and numerous articles. Roberts has collaborated on the creation of multiple digital humanities projects, including Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library System, the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project, and, most recently, The Revolutionary City: A Portal to the Nation’s Founding. 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 and the Urban History Association.

“I am excited and honored to join the talented staff and board of the Congregational Library and Archives as the next Executive Director,” Roberts said. “For nearly 175 years, the Congregational Library and Archives has engaged audiences in understanding the 400+ year history of ordinary women and men who learned how to come together in community, select their own leaders, and speak truth to power. I especially look forward to continuing the CLA’s work to recover the experiences of those who found themselves pushed to the margins and left out of the story.”

The Congregational Library and Archives is an independent research library located in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1853, the CLA is a repository for some 225,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and manuscripts documenting the development and growth of the Congregational tradition in the United States as well as in Canada and Great Britain.

Roberts’s wealth of knowledge and experience will give new momentum and meaning to the CLA’s mission of fostering a deeper understanding of the spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and civic dimensions of the Congregational story and its ongoing relevance to contemporary society by collecting, preserving, and sharing materials and by actively engaging with faith communities, students, scholars, and the general public.