Karen Whitecotton
Owner/Contract Registrar at Heritage Museum Services, LLC


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Karen Whitecotton


Karen is a Native American museum professional that has been in the museum industry since 2000, specializing in registration and collections management.  She has both a BA and MA in Museum Studies and has worked for various types of museums and collections, including private, tribal, and state museums and state agencies, as well as several private collections, and various other non-profits.  Three of the institutions she has worked for are AAM accredited, and Karen coordinated the initial accreditation for one of them.  She has worked extensively with fine art, Native American collections, antiquities, and natural history collections.  

Karen serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Museums Association (OMA)  and is the immediate past coordinator of the OMA Disaster Response Network (DRN) and previous coordinator and current acting coordinator for the Oklahoma Registrars Association (OKRA).    Karen is trained in disaster preparedness, including wet salvage, and is a Certified Institutional Protection Manager through the International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection (IFCPP).  Karen also serves on the Collections Committee for the Oklahoma State Art Collection, through the Oklahoma State Arts Council.  She is an AAM Peer Reviewer for both the MAP program and the Accreditation program.

Karen actively participates in workshops and conferences, both as a participant and as an instructor, and teaches OMA's MARC (Museum Accessioning and Registration of Collections) course.

She routinely ships multi-million dollar art and artifact shipments all over the world, and has extensive courier and overseas installation experience, working in Europe and the Middle East, and has coordinated logistics for exhibits and loans traveling to South and Central America, including Cuba.   Karen has handled the crating, shipping, and Customs logistics for hundreds of millions of dollars in artifacts, and thousands of pieces of art, and has coordinated millions of dollars in institutional loans from all over the world.  She also handles CITES, USDA APHIS, and USFWS permits.

Karen has extensive experience with collection storage solutions and storage mounts.  She has experience with brass exhibition mounts and matting and framing.  Although she hates bugs, she has extensive IPM experience, including CO2 chambers.

She actively contracts through her museum and private collection consulting business, Heritage Museum Services, LLC.  Karen utilizes a quality network of mount makers, exhibit designers, conservators, Customs brokers/freight forwarders, and shipping agents.  She has worked on US indemnified exhibitions and her clients range across the United States.  

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