Fresh Eyes on Old Collections: A Lunch Talk with the Congregational Library’s Spring 2023 Interns

G McFarland and Greta Gaffin
Promo image for the event featuring photos from each intern's work at the CLA.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2023
12-1 pm EST



The Congregational Library & Archives is pleased to make opportunities for interns from local schools to gain hands-on experience working with historic collections and learning archival processes. Join us for lunch at 14 Beacon on Friday, April 21st at noon to hear G McFarland and Greta Gaffin share what they’ve discovered and learned during their internship projects this spring.

G McFarland (Simmons University) will speak about her work processing the meeting minutes of the Ladies Benevolent Society of Wollaston Congregational Church (Wollaston, Quincy, MA.) meeting minutes and its correspondence with the Calhoun Colored School (Calhoun, Lowndes County, AL). She will reflect on creating a finding aid that encourages future researchers to revisit northern interests in post-Reconstruction, African American education.

Greta Gaffin (Boston University) will provide an overview of her work with two initiatives: an on-going inventory project of printed works at the Congregational Library and on a campaign to support Congregational churches preparing to celebrate milestone anniversaries. She will discuss some surprising items she found on the shelves of the Church history section, the importance of connecting communities of faith with their histories, and the necessary work of making collections accessible.

The event is free to attend, but tickets are limited and registration is required by Tuesday, April 18th via Eventbrite.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about attending the event. Lunch will be served.

For more information, please email


G McFarland is a master's student in Library & Information Science at Simmons University concentrating in Archives Management. She earned her BA in Public Policy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2019 and recently completed her master's in International Economic Policy at Sciences Po-Paris where she researched the economic history of the Black American homesteading community in Nicodemus, Kansas. G is passionate about genealogical research, church governance, and record access.

Greta Gaffin has a BA in Economics from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is currently a second year master’s student at the Boston University School of Theology. She has worked at the New England Historical Genealogical Society to digitize 19th and 20th century baptism records, partnered with an Episcopal Benedictine Monastic community to organize and catalog their library, and assisted the Hyde Park Historical Society in researching Indigenous settlements in the area. Greta holds deep interests in book arts, history, and religion that have made her particularly adept at making connections between past and present within the CLA’s church history collection.