Pre-doctorate public history at George Mason University
M.A. Texas Tech University, Museum Science, minors: History, Art History, Historic Preservation
B.A. with Distinction, University of Rhode Island; Major 1 History, Major 2 Art History, Phi Alpha Theta, president; Mortar Board
• History of American education through artifacts
• Researching educational toys and games
• Americanization and material culture
• Visual studies and American material culture
• 19th century American prints especially Civil War popular prints
• History of the literacy of American youth
• Women's education in the 18th and 19th Centuries
• Collection documentation and digitization; classification of artifacts
Role in Museum:
- Curator of the Education Collections including the Dr Richard Lodish American School Collection
- Curator of the Harry T. Peters America on Stone Collection (19th century lithographic prints)
- Associate curator in the Division of Home and Community Life
• Team member/co-curator of Many Voices, One Nation exhibition, scheduled for 2017
• Preparation of Home and Community Life collection information for web access
• Numerous projects concerning development, maintenance, and use of standard practices for cataloging objects, including the development and promotion of Documentation Standards for NMAH Collections.
• Developed object classifications with curatorial staff. Edited the on-line collections information system and provided assistance with research and development of NMAH authority records.
• Team member on major information architecture projects for NMAH 1982-2002; on SI and international committees including NMAH functional model, NMAH Data Model, SI Data Content Committee, and Roles and Transaction Terms documents.
• Provided MultiMimsy XG staff training 1996-2007.
• Member of exhibit de-installation original NMAH First Ladies exhibition.
• Team leader for NMAH shelf inventory editors and the development of the Museum Information Retrieval and Documentation System in the 1980s.
Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition:
Presentations and Lectures:
Patriotism in the Classroom: The Material Culture of Americanization 1880-1915 (2015)
Civil War Objects Out of Storage (2013-present)
Introduction to the Harry T Peters “America on Stone” Print Collection (2010-present)
How to Teach and Old Catalogue New Tricks (1999)
- Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection, Smithsonian Books, October 2013
In Pre-Civil War Kentucky Derby, North-South Rivalry Ran High AtlanticMonthly.com
- Debbie is a national judge and often a team captain for the yearly National History Day, College Park, Maryland
- Debbie volunteers for the Friends of the Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, Va
- Debbie was a member of the PTA from 1990-2005 and was nominated Volunteer of the Year for Fairfax County, Va. She continues to promote education of youth through mentoring interns in collections management through the NMAH internship program. Her intern blogs include:
- Students, stay in your seats: Improving 19th century school desks
American Alliance of Museums
Country School Association of America
National Trust for Historic Preservation