Buffalo Bill Museum staff
Meet the staff of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Curator Dr. John C. Rumm.
Ernest J. Goppert Curator of Western American History
As Curator of Western American History at the Buffalo Bill Museum, Dr. John C. Rumm oversaw the reinstallation of the museum’s permanent exhibit, completed in the summer of 2012. The reinstallation represents the first major change to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s flagship museum in nearly three decades.
Prior to his appointment to the Buffalo Bill Museum staff, Rumm was the first Editor-in Chief of the Papers of William F. Cody Project, and continues to be closely associated with the project.
Rumm came to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center from Philadelphia, where he held senior-level positions with the Civil War & Underground Railroad Museum of Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, and the Catholic Heritage Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As Director of Exhibits at the National Constitution Center, he managed the Center’s 60,000-square foot permanent exhibition, administered its changing exhibits program, and curated a major traveling exhibition on Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution during the Civil War.
As a heritage management and corporate communications specialist in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Rumm curated exhibits, wrote books, conducted oral history interviews, undertook strategic planning, and administered anniversary celebrations for scores of clients in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to that, he spent nearly twelve years with the Smithsonian Institution—first as an assistant editor with the Joseph Henry Papers Project and then as a senior exhibit coordinator with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service—and was an archivist at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware.
Rumm earned his MA in the History of Technology and his doctorate in American History at the University of Delaware where he also received a certificate from the Museum Studies Program. He held a four-year fellowship from the Hagley Graduate Program, jointly administered by the University and the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation. He received his BA in the History of Science and Technology from Ohio State University.
Areas of Responsibility/Expertise
- Buffalo Bill Museum interpretive planning and reinstallation
- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West/Buffalo Bill Combination
- Settlement and development of the American West
- Gilded and Progressive Era American history
- Historical representation and memory
- Public history
- Environmental history