Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs

Debbie Schaefer-Jacobs

Associate Curator

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

Research Specialties: 

• 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

Current Projects:
• Team member/co-curator of Many Voices, One Nation exhibition, scheduled for 2017
• Preparation of Home and Community Life collection information for web access

Past Projects:
• 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)





Professional Affiliations: 

American Alliance of Museums
Country School Association of America
National Trust for Historic Preservation