After more than three decades of leading the Columbia Archives, Barbara Kellner is retiring. Kellner, 72, moved to Columbia from New Jersey with her family in the early 1980s. Soon afterward, she took an administrative position with the newly formed Archives, which became part of Columbia Association in 1992.
What began as a part-time job led to her eventually becoming director. During her tenure, the archives has received landmark acquisitions such as Columbia founder Jim Rouse’s papers, which document his life and give even more insight into the story of Columbia and Rouse’s role as a pioneer of festival marketplaces and shopping centers.
She also has been a guiding force behind signature community events such as the annual Columbia BikeAbout, which spotlights Columbia’s history and landscape with a family-friendly bicycle ride through the community’s open space. As for her plans, Kellner said, “I am looking forward to a new chapter, a new passion ― but Columbia is still in my heart, and I expect it will show up in something I do.”