Morgan Smith, 2020

Since graduating from the Museum Studies Program, I’ve become the registrar at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. The AJM is one of the few museums dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the history of jazz, and its collection contains a wide variety of objects from photographs and textiles to sheet music and instruments.

As the registrar, I am responsible for organizing and maintaining the collection’s records, coordinating incoming and outgoing loans, helping to manage our collections database, and helping with the day-to-day activities of the collections department. Although I have only been here a short time, I’ve already helped with planning upcoming exhibits, cleaning and maintaining the permanent exhibit gallery, revising the department’s forms, and I’ve drafted the institution’s first collections management policy. Over the course of the next year I plan on tackling the biggest project of them all – completing the museum’s first full inventory of the collections.

I love that I get to work in a museum that not only has a rich and vibrant history, but also challenges me and teaches me something new with each project. Little could have prepared me for beginning my professional career in the midst of a global pandemic, but my time at KU MUSE gave me so many skills that I now get to use every day.Museum Studies alum Morgan Smith stands on a ladder to clean artwork at the American Jazz Museum.Museum Studies alum Morgan Smith enters data from the American Jazz Museum's collections into a database.

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