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Museum Professional Experience

Museum Affiliations

  • University of Delaware Museum Studies Program

  • Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil 
    Rights Museum

  • Hosanna School Museum

  • McComas Institute

  • Havre de Grace Colored School Foundation

  • The Peale Museum

  • Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College

  • Havre de Grace Maritime Museum

  • National Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture

Top Photo Courtesy of Clare Pickersgill
Dr. Barnes has served as the Curator of the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum in Baltimore since it reopened in 2016 after 20 years of fund-raising, restoration, and interpretation. She began to engage with the project in 2008 as an independent contractor completing the conservation work on the photographs and works on paper 
of the collection 

20 Years of Experience


Dr. Barnes was influenced to enter the engaging world of museums after creating a 150-year anniversary booklet for her church. The church "historian" took her out in the woods to visit the original graves of the founders with some stones placed as early as 1849. "The church historian's 'recollections' were indeed interesting, but took on a whole new dimension when we stood in the space where these historic events took place. I was fascinated with the notion that formerly enslaved individuals with little or no education possessed the skills and 'gumption" to use a horse and buggy to relocate the church they built to land they purchased." The building still stands today with new rooms added over time.

After this, she became involved with the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, the Hosanna School Museum, the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, and the Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum. She enhanced her experience with graduate degrees in Museum Studies and Historical Preservation, and History. In addition to being passionate about her work, as former Program Officer of the Maryland Humanities Council, Jean Wortman says, "Iris is dedicated and works above and beyond what is required."

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