PHS Staff Profile: Nancy J. Taylor | Presbyterian Historical Society

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PHS Staff Profile: Nancy J. Taylor

February 15, 2023

What is your role at PHS? What do you do from day-to-day?

I am the PHS executive director.  I spend a lot of my time attending meetings and talking with staff, Board members, OGA colleagues, and other collaborators—both within and outside the PC(USA).  Good, two-way communication is key to everything with do.  I also directly support our development program and The Journal of Presbyterian History, and I guide decisions about our building, financial matters, and other operations.

How does your work support the mission of PHS?

My training and experience as an archivist and historian plus my 24 years working at PHS are invaluable to my current job of supporting our mission in all its different facets.  We are an ambitious bunch, and it’s a continual challenge to leverage existing resources and identify new ones that will enable our dedicated staff to creatively and joyfully expand our collections and share archives and history widely and without bounds.

Why do you love working at PHS?

I am never bored! Our collections are vast and endlessly intriguing, and our recent initiatives to identify the missing and buried elements of our collections and then proactively collect and lift up other histories, other voices have been very gratifying for me. I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with talented and supportive colleagues over the years, and we have collectively navigated the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly digital world.

What do you find most inspiring about PHS?

I’m constantly inspired by the synergy between our staff and the constituents, researchers, and donors with whom we interact.

Please share an interesting/fun fact about yourself.

I’ve zigzagged across the country—born in Montana, then lived in Texas, Wisconsin, and now Pennsylvania.  And, I have three border collies; the oldest is named Zig-Zag.  When we’re out hiking, we always have a negotiation about staying on the trail through the switchbacks—Zig prefers going straight up or down.  I, at least, have learned to appreciate the zigzags in life, and he is coming around as he gets older.