Publication Date

January 1997


Museums and archives represent two of the most durable and long-lived means for perpetuating culture and social memory. Like their sister repository, the library, museums and archives fill long-established and specialized roles in the care of cultural materials. These roles, crafted over centuries of changing responsibilities and pressures, must be reexamined in the face of modem needs, technologies, and expectations. While archival repositories and museums have developed into two distinctive types of cultural institutions, they now find themselves amidst a need to consolidate their efforts and provide the public with a coherent means for accessing the increasingly fragmented and diverse cultural evidence produced today. Making this cultural evidence accessible implies not only offering the actual materials but also requiring concerted efforts to link the historical and intellectual functions served by all forms of historical records. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon archivists and museum professionals to provide a holistic context for the materials they hold and to build avenues by which users can connect information from all types of historical evidence.



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