Thesis

Archives in action : investigating the management of museum archives

Museum archives include administrative documents, staff files, and other valuable legacy data that considered together, supply an institutional history for staff, scholars, and the public. In this thesis, the current state of museum archives management in the United States is assessed, as the topic is widely unexamined and well-managed archives are critical to successful museum operations. After a literature review is conducted that explores archival management, best practices, policies, and outlines the important role museum archives play in institutions, the survey results presented highlight how museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums manage their archives. A discussion of the survey results follows, offering several conclusions and recommendations concerning the future development of museum archives. It is concluded that while museums need to develop professional guidelines, that many collections staff work to manage archives, and that few museum-wide archives policies exist, museums are doing their best to ensure proper archives management.

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