In the Fall of 1980, the Saint Anselm College History Department offered its first course in a practical approach to applying history. Applied History, designed by Professor Frank Mason and Malachy McCarthy, OSB attracted eight students: Julie Carmelo, Mike Duffy, Carol Flanagan, Barbara Flynn, Ellen Lynch, Nancy McGovern, Mary Quinn, and Lori Skeates.
In this course, Malachy McCarthy taught the principles of archival theory while Frank Mason dealt with oral history. During the second semester, many of the students took advantage of an internship opportunity with a local history organization.
Thirty-five years later, Nancy McGovern continues her work in archives as the manager in charge of digital preservation at MIT Libraries in Cambridge. She came back to Saint Anselm College in 2013 to share her expertise with students in Public History, the updated version of the course she took in 1980. Malachy McCarthy is now the Province Archivist for the Claretian Missionaries USA-Canada Province in Chicago. He still teaches archival principles and practice, educating future Catholic religious archivists.
In August 2016, at the annual convention of the Society of American Archivists in Atlanta, Nancy McGovern accepted the mantle of President of the Society and will lead SAA over the next year. Teacher and student were reunited as professional colleagues at the conference after 35 years.
Faculty often wonder what becomes of each student we have had in class. We know that many go on to very successful careers and lives. Some make it to the top of their profession, like Nancy. If you haven’t taken a moment to let your former professors know what you are currently up to, please do. We would love to know.