OCLC published a report last week that may be of interest to museums with library and archival collections and smaller museums with more than objects. Taking Our Pulse: the OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives, by Jackie M Dolley and Katherine Luce (http://www.oclc.org/research/news/2010-10-27.htm) surveys collections in North American research and university libraries, but it also covers a small number of museums and historical societies. The report has recommendations on metrics, collection management, user services, cataloguing and metadata, archival collection management, digital special collection and staffing. These echo recommendations of numerous other reports published over the past decade. The most challenging issues identified - in the opinion of these participating in the survey - were space and facilities, managing born-digital materials and digitisation, meeting user needs, cataloguing and archival processing. Some issues – such as those covered in Beyond the Silos of the LAMS: Collaboration Among Libraries, Archives and Museums (September 2008) and Museum Data Exchange: Learning How to Share (February 2010) – are not covered in Taking Our Pulse. The report has an overview of museum data, but the value of the data is limited by the number of responses. In other words, trend trackers and those who wrestle with local dynamics may want to skim through the executive summary and dip into other sections.

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Comment by Steve Stefanopoulos on November 26, 2010 at 8:43
What an interesting report. Its interesting for me, as a school archive is a mixture of all 4 of the GLAM sectors - galleries, libraries, archives and museums. I think most school archives would have framed objects be they works on paper or canvas; a collection of books such as book prizes awarded to the studetns; records of the management of the school by the school council or board; and 3D objects such as trophies, statues, pennants etc... This report highlights the links between these like institutions who should be working in partnership and as one team.

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