Katie Romey, 2015
Registrar, National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
When I started working in the museum field in 2011, I couldn’t have imagined where it would have taken me and the things I would see along the way. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible Native American collections, original documents and memorabilia from Senator Robert J. Dole, George Heye’s “warehouse of curiosities” at the National Museum of the American Indian, and archaeological artifacts from the world-famous Pepper-Hearst Expedition to Key Marco in 1896. What other profession lets you boast a list like that? Working with and caring for collections is the absolute best job in the world and I’m lucky to have truly found my passion.
Right before the end of grad school in 2015, everyone was asking me what my next step was after graduation. I (not unlike many others) just wanted to find a collections job “ideally somewhere in the Midwest.” Fast-forward six months and I found myself working in Marco Island, Florida – right on the edge of the Florida Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands. I was the collections manager at the Marco Island Historical Society (MIHS) and was the first full-time person hired specifically for the care of the collection. In my time there, I cataloged nearly 20,000 artifacts, wrote the organization’s first collections management policy, published the PastPerfect database online, aided in the development of exhibits, and co-authored a book about the history of Marco Island.
After nearly three years at the Marco Island Historical Society, I was hired as the registrar at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City. I work with our curator of collections and collections manager to care for the 80,000+ piece collection which includes the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the largest collections of antique toys. As registrar, I am in charge of all of the collection documentation, preparing and facilitating incoming and outgoing loans, cataloging and rehousing artifacts, and playing an integral role in the management of the collections database. It’s been an exciting transition and I’m thrilled to be back as a part of the Kansas City community.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at KU and am still very much in contact with my former classmates – now colleagues. Aside from museums, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Nate, and our KC Pet Project rescue dog, Nellie.