Martha Katz-Hyman received her B.A. in American studies from Simmons College and her M.A. in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York at Oneonta. For almost twenty years she was an associate curator in the department of collections at Colonial Williamsburg, where she worked primarily with the mechanical arts and kitchen equipment collections and specialized in the material culture of eighteenth-century Tidewater Virginia slaves. Katz-Hyman also worked as assistant librarian at the American Jewish Historical Society, where she was research coordinator and exhibit manager for the traveling exhibition, On Common Ground: The Boston Jewish Experience, 1649–1980.