Catherine L Sharkey
Full or Part-time
United States of America
Years in the field:
1 – 5 Years
Areas of Expertise
Curatorial/Collections, Docent Programs, Explainer/guide, Guest/Visitor Services, Research & Evaluation, Social Media
I received my BA in Sociology from Le Moyne College in 2011, and my MA in Cultural Anthropology from SUNY Albany in 2015. During my MA, I took classes through the New York State Museum. These classes inspired me to pursue a career in Collections Care and completed a semester-long internship at the Waterford NY Historical and Cultural Center in the spring of 2015.
Once I completed my MA and the internship, I was hired as the Collections Manager at Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, VT. This position had not been filled for many years prior to my arrival. The four years in which I worked on this collection focused on organization, record keeping, inventory work, and basic preventative conservation. While working for Hildene, I completed an online Graduate Certificate from George Washington University in Museum Collections Care & Management. Everything I learned in this program, I directly applied to my work at Hildene.
In 2020 when Hildene closed due to COVID, I committed part of my time to help to create social media content. With the marketing team, I created posts Facebook and Instagram posts that highlighted artifacts in our collection, I wrote short articles to be published in the Members Newsletter and provided content to develop virtual tours with our Lead Tour Guide.
Additionally, as a staff, we created a small working committee to address concerns about diversity and equity in our institution. As a member of this committee, I attended many webinars/lectures on DEI work for museum professionals and used the information I learned to help draft monthly emails to all-staff encouraging conversations on a range of topics. Before I left Hildene in July of 2021, I helped conduct research regarding a Land Acknowledgement for our institution and I hope soon that the Hildene leadership will implement the committee's suggestions.
I left Hildene in July of 2021, to live with my husband in Cobleskill, NY, and I am now seeking a position in which I can continue to work with historic collections. I am interested in being a part of the active care for the collection, and assisting in research and exhibit development. I am still learning about DEI and my privileges as a cis-white-woman, and I want to work for an institution in which these topics are discussed and actively addressed.