New Hire: Kate Barbera


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What is your official title, and what are some of your general responsibilities?

My official title is Archival Assistant for the Time-Based Media Collection. I am part of a broad, comprehensive effort to preserve all of the film, video, and audio assets at the museum. My main task is to create an archive that will house the photographs, letters, reports, posters, slides, and memos that provide context for the media materials. These papers help tell the fascinating history of film in Pittsburgh. I am working to preserve the records and taking steps to make them available to everyone inside and outside the museum. Some materials will even be scanned and put online. Overall, my goal is to make this information readily accessible so more people can use it for research. I hope my work helps others discover the city’s unique, exciting, and influential film scene.

What were you doing before joining us at CMOA?

Before coming to CMOA, I worked in the archives at Carnegie Mellon University. I helped them with a wide range of projects but my main task was to organize, describe, preserve, and digitize the William W. Cooper Collection. Before that, I graduated with a master’s degree in public history from Duquesne University, where I focused on archival and museum collections management.

What’s your favorite exhibition that you saw this past year (at any museum/event)?

This year I finally visited Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. The house was beautiful and the exhibit Making Monticello was fascinating.

If you could steal one artwork from our collection, what would it be?

I love the detailing on 17th century colonial American decorative cabinets, from the joinery to the intricate carving. The Hadley chest (c. 1685-1700) that we have in our collection is a beautiful example.

Five things you can’t live without?

Family. Good Food. Fresh Air. Warm Sunshine. Strong Coffee.

Describe Pittsburgh in five words or less.

Not the overlooked city.

Favorite hobbies? Or any other projects you’d like to share?

Running, snow skiing, water skiing, and knitting. I also frequently volunteer my time to work on historic preservation projects throughout Western Pennsylvania.