Kara Kelly

Kara Kelly
  • Collection Manager - Archaeology

Contact Info

Spooner Hall


Kara is a museum collections professional with 20 years of experience in collections management and registration. She began her journey at the University of Kansas in the Museum Studies program and went onto work at a variety of organizations including The Kansas City Museum, Mesa Verde National Park and The Museum of Northern Arizona.

She is very happy to be back at her alma mater working in the KU Biodiversity Institute's Archaeology Division. Kara has extensive experience moving collections, having been a team member of 3 extensive collections moves, one as co-project manager. Additionally, she is well versed with 36 CFR part 79, and the 411 DM, having worked with a wide variety of federal agencies at institutions that serve as federal repositories, including the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Along with federal agencies, working with Tribes to accomplish NAGPRA repatriation is an incredibly important part of her work as a collections steward.

Her photography hobby also comes in handy in documenting collections and making collections accessible to the public. Research interests include moving museum collections into a virtual reality setting and keeping abreast of the latest innovations in collections storage and conversation techniques.