Contract Registrar

Resume posted by Karen Whitecotton in Museum and Gallery.

Desired position type: Any

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I am a professionally trained museum and private collection registrar with 16 years of experience. I have extensive experience with acquisitions, loans, and exhibitions on an international and multi-million dollar scale. I own my own contract registration and museum consulting business, Heritage Museum Services, LLC and am looking for additional clients and projects.


Masters of Liberal Arts- Museum Studies- 2017- University of Oklahoma
Bachelors of Arts- History/Museum Studies- 2002- University of Central Oklahoma
 Liberal Art’s College Dean’s Honor Roll
 National Collegiate Minority Leadership Award
 Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society


Owner & Museum Consultant
Date of Employment: June 2015 – Present
Heritage Museum Services, LLC
Norman, Oklahoma
-Native American owned and operated
-Utilize a network of highly skilled conservators, fine art shippers, Customs brokers, foreign agents, exhibit
designers, and mount makers to ensure a high level of professionalism for every project
-Collections Management & Best Practices
-Storage Solutions
-Museum Forms, Documentation, and Policies
-Loans and Insurance
-Disaster Preparedness
-Fine Art Shipping Logistics (domestic and international)
-Courier duties
-Exhibit & Case Design, Content Development, and Mount Making
-Exhibit Installations and Deinstallations
-Traveling Exhibition Logistics and Curation
-Site Visits For Venues, Facility Reports, Security Consultation
-Clients include private collections, university museums, private museums, tribal groups, and historical societies (full client list upon request)

Date of Employment : August 2013 – August 2015
Museum of the Bible
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Coordinated U.S Customs information for thousands of objects (acquisitions, loans, exhibits)
-Coordinated international shipping and hand carry logistics and insurance for thousands of objects totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars (acquisitions, loans, exhibits)
-Couriered multimillion dollar artifact shipments domestically and internationally
-Coordinated domestic and international loans, with private collectors as well as world renowned institutions such as the National Air and Space Museum, Musei Vaticani (Vatican Museum), Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican Library), Cambridge University Library, and the Israel Museum
-Coordinated insurance renewals and appraisals of collection and for exhibition and loans
-TMS database management
-Coordinated logistics for and installations and deinstallations around the country and in numerous foreign countries, including Argentina, Cuba, Israel, Italy, and Vatican City and spent extensive time on installations overseas
-Worked extensively with domestic and foreign Customs brokers and freight forwarders
-Coordinated fine art shuttles and packing by fine art handlers
-Reviewed Facility Reports for potential venues for loans or exhibits
-Identified items within the collection that needed further provenance research
-Identified items within the collection that fell under US Fish & Wildlife laws, CITES, or other international laws pertaining to flora and fauna
-Oversaw and coordinated with contract conservators, contract vendors, and storage consultations
-Created custom brass mounts for artifacts during installations
-Coordinated acquisition invoices and made sure appropriate documentation was in place for Fish & Wildlife and US Customs requirements
-Created an office filing system for Object files, Acquisition files, Loan files, and Exhibit files
-Trained staff on condition reporting and AAM Best Practices
-Reworked courier policy
-Helped draft Collections Management Policy and Collections Access Policy
-Reworked and created forms for condition reporting and incoming/outgoing paperwork
-Expanded Registration department from one employee to three, to include an Assistant Registrar and Associate Registrar under my supervision.
-Supervised interns

Curator of Collections
Date of Employment : December 2010 – August 2013
Oklahoma Museum of History/Oklahoma History Center (Smithsonian Affiliate Museum)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Coordinated AAM accreditation
-Accessioning and housing various collections
-PastPerfect database management
-Exhibit planning and installation
-Artifact research and hosted external scholars
-Began retrofitting art storage
-Taught docent training courses
-Coordinated loans from private collectors and institutions including the Autry and the National Cowboy & Western History Museum
-Packed and couriered artifacts
-Curator for Oklahoma @ the Movies exhibit (which won Frontier Country’s Outstanding Temporary Exhibit in 2012): Compiled databases to track artifacts relating to Oklahomans in the movie industry, wrote exhibit labels, dry mounted labels, compiled case lists, created case layouts/drawings, created gallery layouts, created graphics, and graphic panels, created graphic vinyl and installed it, created photo-mosaic from movie screen shots, designed Oklahoma! Set, co-designed and fabricated the Alice in Wonderland interactive area, coordinated with vendors.
-Developed and hosted Osher Lifelong Learning Institute from OSU (OLLI) course for the Oklahoma @ the Movies exhibit (2012)
-Developed, wrote, organized, and installed the Enriched: Animal Art from the OKC Zoo exhibit, which was a partnership with the Oklahoma City Zoo.
-Organized and updated museum’s policies and procedures
-Wrote institutional Code of Ethics and helped rewrite the Collections Management Policy
-Developed an updated and comprehensive staff resource library
-Created exhibit mounts
-Supervised interns

Executive Director/Tribal Historic Preservation Officer/NAGPRA Officer
Date of Employment : July 2009 – October 2010
Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center
Shawnee, Oklahoma
-Managed a staff of 17, which included museum, library, archives, Tribal Heritage Project, Veterans’ Wall of Honor, Long Room event center, and gift shop
-Oversaw production of Tribal Heritage Project (oral history project) DVD production and interviews
-NAGPRA and THPO paperwork and surveying tribal trust and allotment properties
-Managed and maintained multi-million dollar budget and day to day operations
-Grant writing
-Gallery design
-Gift shop purchasing
-Oversaw all aspects of collections care, including PastPerfect database management
-Updated social media, newsletters, etc.
-Traveled to Regional tribal meetings throughout the country
-Coordinated with the Oklahoma Historical Society to serve as a repository for a hundred years of Pottawatomie County court house records

Assistant Registrar
Date of Employment : January 2006 – July 2009
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Processed all incoming and outgoing loans
-In charge of collections care for the museum’s permanent collection
-Processed all new acquisitions
-Inventoried 1/5 of collection annually
-Access and Filemaker database management
-Unpacked, packed, and coordinated shipping for thousands of pieces of art each year for exhibits, loans, and sales shows (including Prix de West, Small Works Great Wonders, and the Traditional Cowboy Artists of America (TCAA), Oklahoma Youth Expo show, and the Craft in America traveling exhibition)
-IMP duties and managed CO2 chamber
-Participated in AAM reaccreditation
-Regular use of power and hand tools
-Installed and deinstalled galleries
-Couriered artwork domestically and internationally
-Created storage mounts and exhibit mounts
-Developed training manuals for volunteers and interns
-Quadrupled volunteer base in collections
-Supervised seasonal employees in collections
-Supervised interns

Temporary Curatorial Assistant
Date of Employment : September 2005 – October 2005
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Unpacked, packed, and assisted with shipping for almost a thousand of pieces of art for two sales shows- Prix de West and the Traditional Cowboy Artists of America (TCAA)
-Regular use of power and hand tools
-Deinstalled gallery

Preservation Coordinator
Date of Employment : June 2004 – June 2005
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Tribal Heritage Department
Shawnee, Oklahoma
-Registration and curatorial duties for entire Tribal Heritage Department collection (both digital and 3D based collections)
-Created initial paperwork for tribal artifacts and loaned artifacts
-Created new labels for all artifacts on display
-IMP duties
-PastPerfect database management
-Created physical browse books for the public
-Scanned photos and documents during tribal gatherings
-Created take home preservation handouts for tribal members
-Supplied tribal members archival materials for their photographs and documents
-Developed and taught workshops to tribal members on preserving personal collections
-Processed all NAGPRA and THPO paperwork
-Managed tribal Veterans’ Database project and coordinated Veterans’’ Day picnic
-Supervision of assistant
-Created office filing system for object paperwork
-Created standard museum forms such as accession, condition, change of location, etc.
-Inventoried tribal collections
-Developed drafts of museum policies such as a Collections Management Policy and a Packing, Transportation, and Rehousing policy
-Managed Potawatomi Leadership Program

Temporary Curatorial Assistant
Date of Employment : September 2002 – December 2002
Oklahoma Museum of History
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Worked in Registration department with accessioning backlog of collection
-PastPerfect data entry
-Artifact research

Date 2002
Oklahoma Arts Council- under Visual Arts Director, Karen Sharp
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Installed and deinstalled artwork in the Governor’s Gallery at the State Capitol
-Installed traveling exhibits
-Helped coordinate institutional loans
-Research and writing for exhibits
-Inventoried Oklahoma State Art Collection
-Researched artists, art organizations, and museums
-Created office filing system
-Helped with the dedication of The Guardian
-Worked with Centennial Commission to prepare commemorative coins

Date 2001
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum- under Assistant Registrar Helen Stiefmiller and Registrar Melissa Owens
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-Packing and unpacking artifacts
-Extensive handling and storage of artwork and artifacts
-Assisted with Prix de West sales show and exhibition
-Shipping art from Prix de West
-Accessioned collections
-Rehoused and rolled Native American textiles
-Sewed dust covers for artifacts
-Inventoried galleries
-Proof read labels, text panels
-Installed labels in galleries


  • Registration/strong
  • Collections Management/Strong
  • Installations/Deinstallation Logistics/Strong
  • Disaster Preparedness/Strong


    Collections Management, Couriering, Exhibitions, International logistics, Loans, Logistics, Registration

Groups & Associations

    American Alliance of Museums, Association of Registrars and Collection Specialists (ARCS), Oklahoma Museums Association

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