Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Girl Museum, Kentucky Museum
Website URL
public historian, museums, girlhood, women's history, girl studies, American history, interpretation
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Current Positions

  • Program Developer for Girl Museum, the first and only museum in the world dedicated to celebrating girls.
  • Development and Exhibitions Manager for the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University.

Exhibits & Interpretive Projects

Isselhardt has curated over 25 exhibitions and projects, including the ongoing podcast series ‘GirlSpeak’ and the forthcoming podcast ‘Great Girls’; the first global database of girls’ memorials and historic sites, Sites of Girlhood; various virtual exhibitions including 52 Objects in the History of GirlhoodClassical Girls, Warrior Princess, Ancient Girls, Surfer Girl, Gamer Girl, Gazed and Confused, and STEM Girls for Girl Museum; and physical exhibitions at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Hickory Ridge Historic Homestead, and Kentucky Museum. Her prior work with Museum Hack focused on audience engagement in museums, working directly with their team to train museums on interpretive strategies, host sold-out events, and secure contracts with some of the nation’s top museums.


Isselhardt’s work focuses on girls’ identity in history, museums, and material culture, both its representation and formation. She believes that more inclusive representation at historical sites (including museums, historic sites, and memorials) is integral to inspiring, and achieving equality for, girls and women. Through a girl-focused lens, she helps reinterpret historical narratives to become more inclusive of girlhood while providing museums and historic sites with ways to engage younger, more diverse audiences. Utilizing lessons from her time with Museum Hack, she encourages direct public participation in the formation and re-formation of girls’ identity in history, culture, and museums.

Isselhardt also loves exploring girlhood and young womanhood in the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern periods. Forthcoming projects include exhibits on girlhood during Early America and the American Revolution, a biography of one of Benjamin Franklin’s inner circle, and a Manifesto on girlhood for museums.

Education & Certifications

  • Master of Arts in Public History from Appalachian State University, 2013.
  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Science, Florida State University, 2010.
  • Writing Scholars Workshop, Knology/Curator: The Museum Journal, January – Septmeber 2020. (Part of inaugural cohort.)
  • Big Historian, October 2014.
  • Foundations of Interpretation, Indianan University Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, April 2014.
  • Archeology for Interpreters, National Park Service, Dec. 2012.
Recent Publications


Author, Exploring American Girlhood in 50 Historic Treasures, with Ashely E. Remer

Conference Presentations

  • Gazing Deeply: Four Steps to a Great Story (Presenter), UNESCO Karst 2020, August 2020.
  • Studying Marginalized Populations: A Girlhood Case Study (Panel Chair), National Council on Public History, March 2020.
  • Sites of Girlhood, presented at the International Girl Studies Association bi-annual conference, Notre Dame University, February 2019.
  • A Manor Among Mountains: The Medieval Vision of George Vanderbilt, presented at the Southeastern Medieval Association Conference in October 2013.
  • Barbie: The Bitch who has Everything, winner of the Best Paper award at the Brian Bertoti Graduate Conference in 2013.

Other Publications

  • “Using Digital to Showcase Feminism in Cultural Heritage” (co-author with Ashley E. Remer) in Feminism and Museums (2017, MuseumsEtc.) Buy it on Amazon.
  • Technical Innovation in American History: An Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (Feb. 2019, ABC-CLIO Press).
  • Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia (2017, ABC-CLIO Press). Buy it on Amazon.
  • Articles on
  • “Voices from the Deep: Submerged Shipwreck Preservation,” published in the Tuckasegee Valley Historical Review, Vol. XVIV (Spring 2013).
  • An Architectural Survey of Newland, North Carolina, currently held by the Appalachian State University archives.
  • Application for Landmark Designation for Oesterreicher Homestead near Jacksonville, FL, which was utilized for historic designation by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission.

Select Grants

  • NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for rehousing of the Kentucky Museum’s Costume Collection, awarded August 2020, $10,000.
  • IMLS Inspire! Grant for Small Museums for the Kentucky Museum’s Preservation Environment Improvement Project, awarded August 2020, $49,970.
  • The Henry Luce Foundation for the Kentucky Museum’s “Folk Art Digitization Project,” 2 years, $155,000 (2020), and 1 year, $77,000 (2021).
  • “Whitework: Women Stitching Identity” exhibition grants: Foundation for Advancement in Conservation, $500; Quilter’s Guild of Dallas, $2,850; Kentucky Humanities Council, $1,500; and American Quilt Study Group, $2,000.
  • “Gazing Deeply” exhibit grants: Cave Conservancy Foundation, $750; Cave Research Foundation, $300; National Speleological Foundation, $925.
  • Marketing 2019-20, Kentucky Tourism, $6,218.
  • Carpenter Foundation for the Kentucky Museum’s Felts Cabin Restoration, 2019, $36,000.
  • “Out of the Box” exhibit grant, Kentucky Historical Society, 2019, $1,740.
  • Free Admission Pilot Program for the Kentucky Museum, 2019-2021, $36,000.
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Ancient, Medieval, 18th century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Gender, Material Culture, Museums, Public History, Women