A familiar face with the Presbyterian Historical Society is stepping into its main leadership role. Nancy J. Taylor, who has led the Society’s archival efforts for almost ten years, has been named acting executive director by the Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in consultation with the PHS Board of Directors.
“Simply put, no one knows PHS collections, staff, and researchers better than Nancy,” said the Reverend Dr. George Abdo, PHS board chair, and Ernest R. Higginbotham, incoming PHS board chair, in a joint statement. “She will provide terrific leadership during this time of transition and help PHS continue to serve more Presbyterians, scholars, and students.”
Taylor will fill the vacancy left by the Reverend Dr. Beth Hessel, who resigned to take a similar position with the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, a historic member library and architectural archives.
“Thank you to the Office of the General Assembly and the PHS Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity,” said Taylor. “I look forward to working with the PHS staff and our many constituents and supporters to sustain an engaged and responsive archive for the 21st century PC(USA).”
Among Taylor’s accomplishments has been the launch of the Pearl digital archives in 2014 and the recently implemented Pam Byers Memorial Fund Collecting Initiative and RNS Photographs Pilot Project. Since 2011, she has overseen PHS programs and services, edited The Journal of Presbyterian History, and managed the popular Research Fellowship program.
“We are blessed to have someone of Nancy’s talent and dedication on staff at PHS,” said Nelson. “She brings a wealth of Presbyterian knowledge and history and has been an innovative thinker on how to preserve and share this vast collection with the greater church.”
“On behalf of the entire PHS Board, we would like to thank the Stated Clerk and the OGA staff for working quickly and collaboratively with us to appoint Nancy to this important role,” said Abdo and Higginbotham. “We look forward to helping her collect, preserve, and share American Presbyterian history with the world.”
Taylor begins her new duties July 1.