The Opportunities and Challenges of Building Relationships Between Academic Museums and Libraries
In 2016, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Kress Foundation co-sponsored a summit at University of Miami with the intention of exploring the topic of academic library and museum collaboration, and invited the directors of museums and libraries to participate in workshops towards a better understanding of their roles in relation to one another on campus. In a white paper released following this summit, hosts Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts director and chief curator of the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum, and Charles Eckman, dean of libraries and university librarian at the University of Miami, wrote that, “The frequent placement of libraries and museums in disparate academic organizational structures erodes opportunities for intense collaboration and communication around program development.” In 2018, another summit was hosted at Oberlin, with a keynote from Johnetta Cole, former president of Bennett College and Spelman College and former director of Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art. The program explored issues of diversity, inclusion and equity, as well as structural examples of collaboration with a focus on user-centered programming. During this period the Mellon Foundation awarded a number of grants to foster collaboration between these campus units.
In 2019 Ithaka S+R received funding from the Mellon Foundation to study the structural relationships between academic museums and libraries. Ithaka S+R conducted interviews with museum and library directors, and in some cases other senior staff, at thirty universities. Based on these interviews, three institutions were selected for short case studies as examples of effective collaborations: University of Iowa, the Atlanta University Center, and Princeton University.
Relying on an interview methodology to learn about institutional characteristics revealed the incredible breadth of organizational structures, leadership styles, and campus relationships that exist in these two fields. This has informed our analysis towards emphasizing directors’ perspectives in cases where their comments were emblematic of common themes across institutions. In presenting these findings, we offer as frequently as possible counterpoints and alternative perspectives on a thematic topic, rather than offering a singular perspective or solution. The institutional contexts are as varied as the personalities of our participants.
As a result, our analysis has revealed a number of thematic topics, which will be illustrated with comments from museum and library leaders as they consider how to collaborate together, and what may be stopping them from doing so. Elements of these findings will be familiar to library and museum directors, but by sharing field-wide findings we hope they may be helpful in advocating for measured changes to address structural barriers as opportunities permit.
- Reporting Relationships: In many cases, the museum and library director both report to the provost (or equivalent position), which reflects their relevance to all students and faculty on campus. But it is sometimes the case that museum directors report to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, or a similar position. In these cases, informal relationships are essential if museums and libraries hope to build effective collaborations and expand services to all students.
- Governance structures: Governance is not so much a hierarchy as a constellation in academic libraries and museums. There are a variety of governing bodies that steer or support the units’ work financially, intellectually, or through advocacy, depending on the role. University trustees, fiduciary boards, or advisory committees can serve as valuable advocates and expand networks that help to maintain the sustainability of libraries and museums. But in certain circumstances they can redefine their own roles and turn into formidable opponents to a director’s strategy if relationships are not well managed.
- Faculty status: “It’s all over the place,” as one director succinctly put it. Faculty status is more common among librarians than museum staff, but it can also have a great deal to do with institutional history and stature on campus. Faculty status is often perceived as granting legitimacy to GLAM staff, allowing them to more effectively support their constituents. However, our analysis shows that in cases where faculty status is seen as a barrier to collaboration, it means there are larger climate problems in the institution. Advocating for faculty status addresses the symptom, but ignores the root causes of tension among colleagues.
- Budget and Development: Museums and libraries are financed in fundamentally different ways, reflective both of their function for students and their broader roles for the public. This informs the structure of development teams, and the people they can cultivate donations from. When museums and libraries aim to develop projects together, having a degree of financial autonomy on campus can grant the flexibility needed to initiate projects. When these units are seen as fundraising partners, the peer relationships can grow much stronger.
Throughout our interviews, it was consistently the case that museum and library directors found that relationship building was essential to their ability to effectively navigate structural barriers in order to create collaborations. This manifested both through creating connections between the leaders of these campus units, as well as through encouraging and enabling staff to work together and explore alignments. While provosts and college/university presidents may find evidence in this report of structural changes that could be made to generate greater collaborations between museums and libraries, such changes should not be seen as requisite for such work to develop.
Based on our interviews, three institutions were selected as case studies of examples of effective collaboration on the recurring thematic topics of discovery, conservation, and teaching with primary sources. A brief description of these institutions’ efforts will be included in the report to provide grounded illustrations of collaborative approaches in areas of common interest.
In order to ensure that the findings would be applicable to a broad array of universities, we selected institutions based on several variables, pulled from IPEDS, including Carnegie Classification, tuition and student body. In order to gather candid perspectives from directors, we have agreed to maintain their anonymity (although we used identities in the case studies). We have organized participants as a) small private liberal arts colleges, b) large public research universities, and c) large private research universities. The interviews explored the following topics:
- Reporting relationships
- Faculty status and cross-unit relationships
- Budget and fundraising
Whenever relevant these interviews also covered existing collaborative projects between museums and libraries. Interviews were semi-structured in order to allow for an exploratory approach to gathering evidence.
Our advisory board helped us greatly in developing our research instruments, and leant insight that informed our analysis. We would like to acknowledge them and thank them for their help on this project.
- Sharon Corwin – President and CEO, Terra Foundation
- Trevor Dawes – Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums and May Morris University Librarian, University of Delaware
- Gretchen Dietrich – Executive Director, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah
- Charles Eckman – Dean and University Librarian, University of Miami
- Tracy Fitzpatrick – Director, Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase
- Susan Gibbons – Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communication, Yale University
- Saralyn Reece Hardy – Marilyn Stokstad Director, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas University
- Loretta Parham – CEO and Director, Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library
Many thanks to Roger Schonfeld and Kimberly Lutz for their guidance and support on this project, as well as Alison Gilchrest, who initially saw the value of a project like this one and helped to secure the funding that made it possible. Finally, thank you to all the participants who offered their time and perspective, especially to University of Iowa, Atlanta University Center, and Princeton University for enabling us to feature them as case studies.
Academic museums and libraries, historically, have worked independently from one another, and most continue to do so. It is often thought that there is no pressing need for them to be involved with each other’s affairs, and they are too preoccupied with the different challenges they face in realizing their own goals to learn very much about their counterparts’. Compounding that distance, it is common for campus museums and libraries to find themselves structurally misaligned, as a result of administrative reporting relationships, conflicting budget and development priorities, complexities around faculty status, and a lack of meaningful relationships between the leadership of the two units. Notwithstanding these assumptions and impediments, the natural affinities of academic museums and libraries, and their unique expertise, can lead to generative opportunities, enhancing the value of both campus units through their common work.
All participating colleges and universities have an academic museum on campus. We used membership lists from the association of academic museums and galleries (AAMG) and the association of art museum directors (AAMD) to identify a pool of institutions. We did not focus on the smallest academic museums, that is, those run by a single staff member. However, we did seek a range of sizes for both museums and libraries. Smaller participating museums had only three or four staff members and total expenditures under $1 million, while larger museums employed roughly one hundred staff members and had budgets of over $20 million.
Smaller libraries had roughly 20 staff members, with around $2 million total annual expenditures, while larger libraries included roughly 400 staff members and total expenditures of over $60 million. The average museum budget was under $5 million for our cohort, while the average library budget was roughly $30 million.
The demographics of the cohort’s student body, including undergraduate and graduate students, was 52 percent white, 48 percent students of color. The average cost of attendance was slightly under $50,000 per year. Ten years ago the same cohort’s average cost of attendance was $33,000 per year.
The most common archetype among the cohort followed these characteristics:
- Both the museum and library director report to the provost
- Both the museum and the library have independent governing structures, whether oriented around fundraising or advising, which is separate from university/college trustees
- It was most common for librarians to carry faculty status while museum professionals typically did not have faculty status
There are many exceptions and alternatives to these institutional characteristics which will be explored in detail in the findings below.
The reporting relationship between the director of the library or museum and the university has a number of implicit and explicit effects on the role of the unit on campus. In particular, it can signal the constituencies for whom the library and museum are intended. In the case that the unit is seen as a contributor to student success and scholarly research, regardless of program, then it is sensible for the unit to report to the provost. Given that the provost typically serves as chief academic officer with oversight of all colleges at the university, their portfolio typically includes campus units that serve the academic needs of students and faculty, regardless of discipline. In roughly two-thirds of cases, both the museum and library director reported to the provost. Sometimes one or the other or both organizations reported to a vice-provost, associate provost, or another official in the provost’s office for day-to-day matters.
Parallel reporting lines were especially common among institutions with well-resourced museums. In certain cases, larger museums serve as a major public draw for the college or university, attracting tourists, as well as local community members. In such cases, it is common for the museum to be well positioned within the hierarchy of its parent institution. Such museums often have significant assets, which register as part of the university or college endowment. The ability to recruit new donors through serving as a public space on an otherwise private campus, as well as by engaging the public with programming and cultural resources, makes it sensible for these museums to have equivalent reporting lines with the library.
However, in a quarter of cases, the museum director reported to the dean of arts and sciences, or equivalent position, while the library director reported to the provost. This arrangement reflects a perspective that campus museums are not relevant to all students. They are relevant first to art history students, second to humanities disciplines, and beyond that perhaps not at all.
Still, if the museum director reports to the dean of the college of arts and sciences rather than the provost, it does not mean engineering students are barred from entry. The impact is not necessarily visible in the gallery. The primary impacts include financial sustainability and peer relationships. One museum director described a scenario at their previous university where, during a reorganization, their reporting line shifted from the provost to the dean. When the 2010 recession hit, the new president of the university was making severe budget cuts across the board. This director explained that the museum had less financial protection under the dean than the provost. When the dean’s budget was cut, this director reported that the dean used the museum as a shield to take the budgetary hit in order to preserve other departments.
Alternatively, it can be appropriate for museum directors to have more junior reporting lines in the case that the campus unit does not have a strong role in the local community or in faculty research and student curriculum, or if the museum is embedded in a specific academic department. In such cases, the museum may not fit in the provost’s portfolio unless it is able to more seriously professionalize and grow its impact.
But in some cases, asymmetric reporting structures hinder effective collaboration between well-established museums and their peers in academic libraries. When both leaders have the same boss, they tend to encounter each other in regular meetings. They can therefore approach the provost with proposals from a place of common ground. In institutions with asymmetric reporting structures, the library director consistently reported to the provost and the museum director reported to a more junior position. In these situations, it is incumbent on the library director to actively elevate the museum director to peer status when seeking some common form of engagement with the university. One museum director explained how, in the absence of equivalent reporting lines, relationships are essential: “I report to the dean of the college of arts and sciences. It’s not how it should be. The museum was demoted from the office of the provost before my time. The explanation was that the provost’s plate was full. I’ve been gently agitating to have the reporting line changed. The library director reports to the provost. I think if the library director wasn’t the person he is it would be far worse for us. Fortunately, we have a collegial, generous relationship, he treats me as a peer and equal. It really comes down to people.” In such cases, leaders must do their own alliance-building in order to realize the potential of working cooperatively.
In two cases the museum director reported to the library director, as the library had assumed oversight of the museum. These instances, which were unusual and the result of deep organizational challenges in the museum, required a high degree of integration of systems and collaboration between senior administration. Given the very different professional development trajectories of museum and library staff, these administrators acknowledge that they must enter into a phase where they learn from one another to maximize the impact of different collections, rather than attempting to subsume the museum into the library’s processes. These scenarios arose in cases where the museum, a much smaller operation than the library, was struggling to continue stewarding its collection and needed a greater degree of administrative support and oversight. It was far more common to see library and museum directors acknowledge the importance of their autonomy in relation to one another.
Museum and library directors agreed that there was great value in participating in the selection committee for their counterpart. This was not because they had an agenda necessarily, but rather to create a connection that the two colleagues can build on immediately. A museum director at a liberal arts college said: “During the hiring process, the library director was on the search committee, along with many others. I think it did set us on the right path to be closer collaborators. It made me optimistic in taking the role that we would get off on the right foot.” This perspective was shared both by museum and library directors, in cases where their counterpart was involved in the hiring process.
At a high level, museums and libraries share organizational governance via the trustees of the university. Director’s agendas are represented to the university’s trustees via the provost. In most cases this relationship appeared to be a fairly distant one, though directors sometimes noted that there was value in having an advocate for their unit on the university board. In these cases, the library or museum director has typically cultivated a relationship because of a trustee’s interests, which is likely to be tangential to their formal involvement with the university. These relationships can lead to greater positioning of the unit in the eyes of the provost. In one case, at a private liberal arts school, a museum director described a dysfunctional relationship with the university administration. In this case, the single trustee who had an interest in art history was a key advocate on campus: “We do not have a development person on staff, and the university development office practically thinks we don’t exist, they don’t give much help at all. But one trustee of the university is involved with the museum. If he asks for something it gets done, otherwise we don’t expect support from the university. Ideally, we would be able to approach alumni, but the university doesn’t want us to.” Such reports are evidence of the significance of having the support of a trustee as a backstop to structural breakdowns, but they also suggest the challenges that institutional leaders can face in pursuing strategic redirections when even a single trustee pursues a favored alternative.
The majority of governance structures in the campus library and museum involve supplemental boards and committees which steer and support their work. Sometimes these are purely advisory bodies, such as faculty and student advisory committees, while in other cases they play a steering role. Especially for boards that include alumni and others who are not currently students or faculty members, there is frequently a fund-raising component or expectation to service on these boards.
The degree of power wielded by these governance structures can vary widely. In some cases, a “Friends of the Library” or equivalent group will have the opportunity to offer input or suggestions, but ultimately have a fairly limited role in the institution’s strategic direction. Typically, funds raised through such a group are unrestricted, in contrast to certain endowed funds or budget allotments. Such groups can catalyze projects that are difficult to otherwise fund, and therefore they can be an important component of the unit’s growth and position on campus. Access to donor pools can shift the entire perspective of a unit on campus, making it an increased priority in times of financial crisis. Some interviewees shared that serving on the board of a library or museum can be a stepping stone towards trusteeship at the university level.
Advisory committees are also common, and can include faculty, students, alumni, or donors. In some cases they appear to be a valuable asset to the director. But in others they have proven to conflict with the director or university’s objectives and have been phased out. One director observed that there can be a danger in giving a unit-specific board too much power: “Sometimes boards self-organize and create finance committees, then all of a sudden they formulate as a fiduciary board. We had to have campus-wide reforms to roll back boards that became lobbying entities. These had originally been created for alumni/donor relations. Then they morphed into ways to pressure the administration.” Directors must weigh the benefits of having such advisory committees, whether they are financially supporting the unit or not, against the possibility that they will attempt to overstep their role. Again, strong relationships are key to navigating such scenarios.
Faculty and students can also be involved in advisory committees for units. Depending on the quality of relationships between these stake holders, these committees can become a source of tension, or important voices providing insight into the needs of these key constituencies. In some cases there have been university wide efforts to eliminate such committees because they place an increased burden on faculty. Conversely, some library directors reported that they have been discouraged from inviting faculty onto advisory committees because their librarians say they, “Don’t want faculty telling me what to do.” In other cases, museum and library directors found the inclusion of faculty and students in advisory roles to be a key component to better understanding how to serve their core constituencies.
It was not common to encounter examples of community members, artists, or other public stakeholders to be involved with boards and committees. Such an inclusion could strengthen connections between the university and their local communities, and would be helpful towards informing the university of how to most effectively develop programs for the public, suggesting that even if these are institutional priorities they are not embedded in governance structures.
Faculty status is a controversial issue among directors of museums and libraries. Both units share the challenge of asserting their value to the university and legitimizing their staff in the eyes of departmental faculty on campus. Many directors believe that faculty status is an essential ingredient in legitimizing their staff. In cases where that status is absent, a number of directors expressed that their staff struggle to form meaningful collaborations with departmental faculty due to perceptions that they are not engaged in the academic research processes that define faculty status and tenure. This section will explore the frequency of that staff within museums and libraries hold faculty status, the technical nature of that status, and the varying attitudes of museum and library directors towards its significance.
In roughly two-thirds of cases among our cohort, librarians had some form of faculty status, and in about a quarter of cases the museum director or chief curator did as well. In one-third of cases neither museum staff nor library staff had faculty status. From an outside perspective this may be a counterintuitive finding, as it is more common for curators in academic museums to hold doctorate degrees and for librarians to hold master’s degrees. However, the library profession has a more structured internal hierarchy and promotion process which may account for this difference.
Frequently, when museum and library professionals do hold faculty status it is structured as a hybrid of departmental faculty and staff. One library director at a large public research university explained that at their institution these faculty are termed, “non-tenure eligible,” which is also used for adjuncts, instructors, and clinical faculty. This allows access to the faculty senate, but creates a review process separate from the traditional promotion and tenure process. In this case, librarians are not eligible for sabbatical, but they are able to teach and serve as the principal investigator on grant proposals. This director explained, “It’s a blended category. For our librarians, it’s a meaningful thing, it facilitates a level of collaboration. You can get respect in the library in many ways. It doesn’t have to be due to faculty status but in our case it helps.” At this institution, museum curators are not eligible for faculty status, which has created tension when trying to structure collaborative projects.
Most of the interviewees with this hybrid model saw it as an effective way of categorizing staff who do research outside of academic departments, but whose primary responsibilities are operational rather than research and teaching. However, certain issues, particularly the extension of academic freedom to library and museum professionals, were seen as important aspects of full faculty status that in many cases were not granted with these hybrid models.
Librarians, often as part of their promotion and review, must indicate that they have conducted research in service of the library field. Because research is often part of the job description for a librarian in a way that it is not for a curator, there is a stronger argument to be made to the university administration for faculty status in the library than the museum. That isn’t to say museum staff do not produce research, but it is not a standardized metric for their evaluation. In general, the museum field lacks much of the standardization that has developed across libraries, from promotion to the technique of classifying objects.
As a result, it is fairly common for librarians to have faculty status while museum staff do not. This asymmetry can be a barrier to collaboration. One of the interviewees described the experience of hiring for a position that would work collaboratively between the library and museum. The applicant negotiated for faculty status. Because the library had already established that precedent and the museum had not, the position now resides in the library. The museum director said, “That matters because faculty have entree to shared governance in a way that staff do not. On a campus like ours, there is a bright line between staff and faculty.”
One museum director shared an explanation of why they insisted on faculty status as a condition of their employment at the university. At the leadership level the implications are different than among staff, as this status can be seen as a reflection on the unit’s relevance to faculty as well as the university administration. This director said: “I demanded faculty status to come here because I knew it would be instrumental in bringing the museum into the academic fabric of university.” This director had worked in two other academic museums. They observed that finding mechanisms such as faculty status to connect the museum more closely to the university was essential. Granting faculty status was a change for their current institution. “My predecessors struggled to be seen as equal to faculty. The relationship between museum and art history was so fractured, I realized that to heal those rifts it would be necessary to have this status. It has played out well. Now it’s much less tense than it had been.” Of course, in a case like this one, it is not simple to disentangle the impact of scholarly record and outlook of the director from the professional status afforded them by their institution.
Many directors discussed the value of faculty status as a reflection of their staff’s standing in relation to the intellectual life of the institution. Among institutions that did not offer faculty status to their museum or library staff, a subset of directors felt the status was irrelevant because their staff were already well respected by faculty. One library director said, “Our librarians don’t have faculty status. Before coming here, I worked at another library, there librarians did have faculty status. I don’t see it as making a difference. We don’t usually teach and even if we do we’re not thought of as full faculty.” Another said, “There’s only been a few times in my seven years where I thought a problem would be easier to solve if we had faculty status. It’s always about representation in a group. And it’s never about getting into the classroom, it’s never been about the core of our work.” A third said, “Faculty at any university or college is a closed group. There are all kinds of status games going on in that group, both in terms of how they understand each other internally as well as their peers outside the university. On a social level it is important to be seen as a member of that club.”
A number of museum directors shared that they were not in favor of seeking faculty status for their staff, fearing it would distract from the work at hand. As one director put it, “Our curatorial staff have full time jobs, and we’re a small staff, we’re not fully supported by the university. It’s all hands on deck. If there were a faculty appointment, that’s a lot of responsibility. It wouldn’t work. There’s a lot of teaching that comes with faculty status, and we can’t afford giving up the hours.” Another museum director shared that they were protective of their staff being drawn into teaching commitments: “It’s an exploitative system. The reality is we all have full time jobs. I’ve been protective of staff and discourage them from stepping into that role.”
In contrast, other museum directors expressed an interest in exposing their staff to teaching opportunities, for the sake of developing closer relationships between students and museum staff. In a few cases, museum or library staff were able to advise individual research projects with students. This was seen as a compromise between teaching full classes versus having no structured pedagogical relationship to the student body. Advising individual research projects benefits the academic staff by granting exposure to student needs, and it benefits a small number of students who get to have the kind of focused attention in an opaque discipline, which can inform graduate school choices. This may be a more practical suggestion for curators, given that it is more common for librarians to teach.
One library director offered a candid perspective on the subject. In their case, librarians do have faculty status, without tenure. As this director explained, “I’ve worked at multiple institutions, everyone has had a different structure. Some have had straight up faculty with tenure. I’ve worked in other cases where even if you are a dean you don’t have faculty status. I personally don’t think it matters.” This director saw the arguments surrounding faculty status as related to a culture of credentialing that has excluded people from the profession: “I believe that not everyone who is a librarian, or who could be a good one, necessarily went to library school. We are hiring now, and I’m trying to expand the ecosystem of candidates. I’m broadening the set of experiences that matter. If hiring is tied into a structure that requires a graduate degree to enter, you leave out so many people who could diversify the staff. I don’t want to do that.” Furthermore, the library director observed a culture of snobbery that emerges when such issues preoccupy staff. They said, “I’ve been in places where librarians who are faculty hold that status higher than anything else, they see themselves in a different class than other staff who work in the library. I have no patience for that. I will change paper in the copy machines. We are all a team. Your rank means nothing once you walk through that door. Some people don’t like that. But I think relying on status creates an environment that is false and reinforces social structures that we need to dismantle.” This director shifted the conversation from one that was reacting to a set of norms and power structures that have dictated higher education, towards a vision of equity, mutual respect, and care in the workplace, saying: “We keep talking about changing the world, but first we need to start from within. I don’t care if I have faculty status or I don’t. I respect people based on the work they do not their titles.”
Some library directors have advocated that an MLIS degree should not be a strict requirement to work in the library field. While this contrasts with the structured credentialing and promotion process that has been in place for decades, it could be a significant factor in diversifying library staff, in terms of identity and experience.
Libraries and museums go through similar budgeting processes, but their financial realities are very different. This section shares findings regarding university funding, donor stewardship, and development teams.
The library budget is often allocated, to a large degree, from the university. They pursue grants, and in some cases fundraise for capital campaigns, special projects, or endowed positions, but the bulk of staff and operational costs at the vast majority of libraries comes from the university general fund (via some combination of tuition dollars and state appropriations). In this sense, the financial health of the library is tied quite closely to the financial health of the university.
As a result, library operations can be fairly removed from traditional donor stewardship practices. In one case, the library director of a small liberal arts college expressed concern that they did not know the person whose name is embossed in a placard on her office door: “I hate asking for money, but I do think it is weird that I have a plaque outside the door with someone’s name who funded the office. I don’t know anything about that person, or where that money came from. In that sense it’s very different from the art museum, where the museum director is more involved in fundraising.” Such distance from fundraising can create an awkward disconnect between the work of the library and the forces driving its financial sustainability. While this did not appear to be the norm for library directors, it is clear that libraries have a greater range in terms of their relationship to fundraising than do academic museums.
We found that in certain cases libraries and museums had in-house development teams, while in other cases they relied on coordination with a centralized development team and did not have their own development staff. In most cases this correlated with the institution size—larger museums and libraries were more likely to have their own development staff. Twenty-eight percent of participants both had in-houses development staff. In 36 percent of cases either the museum or library had in-house staff while the other relied on central development. It was slightly more common for museums to have their own development staff than libraries in this category. In 36 percent of cases both campus units relied on the central development office for fundraising.
In some cases, libraries have a development team, but it is more common that they have a liaison who works with a central development department. One director at a small liberal arts college explained their budgeting process as fairly straightforward: “At the library, we don’t have a lot of endowed funds. Every year we go through a budget request, we modify our request from the year before. It’s a simple process, and we generally get what we ask for.” This arrangement limits the special projects and new hiring that the director is able to do. “One of my goals is to build capacity to do more development work, in order to establish more endowed funds. I don’t want to depend solely on operational funds. We have a great advancement team at the university, and I’ve started working with them on fundraising for the library over the next few years.” The fact that libraries are able to sustain themselves without fundraising can actually limit their growth, evidenced by the fact that ambitious directors will often seek to fundraise in order to create greater flexibility in their staffing and operations.
Another library director at a small liberal arts school remarked that the library enjoys a high degree of autonomy, but noted that this is far from the norm: “So much of this hands-off approach and freedom, it’s so hugely based off of our performance, our relationships and the confidence the administration has in us. As long as the university doesn’t have to worry about us, they trust what we’re doing and let us be. We never rest on laurels, because then they would need to get involved, and once they do that we lose our ability to innovate.”
A number of libraries had budgetary models in which each of the schools at the university pays a fee for library services. At one large private university, this was described as follows: the fee is typically calculated by the number of graduates, undergraduates, and faculty who use the library. Schools with more faculty and more students pay more to the university. This covers the library’s basic staff and operations, but in order to realize capital projects they have to raise the money, which they do with their own development staff. These staff report into the central development office, but are focused solely on library fundraising.
In this case, the museum has the same arrangement with central development. They were described as, “Friends but also rivals, because they have their own separate targets to raise. This can get in the way of collaboration, this rivalry, if it is not managed correctly. In general, everything works out normally, but communication and trust is so important because there are structural reasons why we would be cautious.” The emphasis on building sound relationships in order to navigate the inherent competition designed into their funding structures reflects a tension found throughout our interviews; when the university makes it hard to connect and collaborate, the people in these positions often can find ways to do so on their own initiative.
Museums typically receive less funding from their parent institution and need to rely on fundraising to operate, especially if they lack a large endowment. One museum director said, “We cost a lot more than the amount the university allocates. We do fundraising and grant writing to realize the full extent of our program every year, but that is all building on a base budget that college provides for us.” This comment reflects a large number of museums’ financial positions in the university. But when they are well managed and have the freedom to pursue donors, museums can often succeed in fundraising outside of the traditional alumni base.
One director described the role of the museum for the university in drawing new funders: “We are a fundraising entity with access to the public that the university does not have. Primarily their fundraising is alumni driven. But the university museum is a place where town and gown come together, and there are a lot of donors that are not alumni who give to the museum. Administrators have come to learn that, in good times, it’s a two-way door between the university and the community.”
This description emphasizes the disparity in the finances of the museum and the library. The museum’s fundraising operations are crucial to its survival, and can also grant it a high degree of autonomy on campus. But fundraising still must be coordinated with the university in order to ensure that donors are not being constantly spammed. As one museum director put it: “All departments with fundraising need to have a member of development staff who is a formal liaison to the development department. It’s about coordination and making sure that donors aren’t being peppered with unsolicited invitations. Central development acts as a gatekeeper, it’s true, but we have not found that inhibiting. There’s actually a lot of support that comes with it because the university’s development apparatus is large.” That museum did have a position that could bring funds into the museum autonomously, which was focused on membership stewardship and alumni engagement. Pursuing larger donors becomes more complex.
Both museums and library directors shared that in certain cases they had trouble getting information about their budgets or endowments, which impeded their ability to develop effective fundraising strategies. It was unclear whether this was intentional on the part of university administration, or if it was simply due to mismanagement of records. A museum director at a small liberal arts school described having difficulty accessing financial records: “I wanted to learn about a set of endowed funds, but there wasn’t anything in our files, none of the original paperwork. I had to go to the dean of faculty. It has not been resolved, but we are now working on far greater coordination and collaboration. I can already see that by not having an internal, dedicated liaison for donor development and stewardship, it’s a detriment to college at large.”
In another interview, a library director, also at a small liberal arts college, described a similar situation: “There has been a struggle, because there is a disconnect between advancement, and the financial services office, that would track the different funds coming into the library. I have a hard time getting a list of funds. How many different funds do we have? Are they endowed or can they be spent down? Are there restrictions on how we can use them? How much money is in them? At my previous college it was much more transparent. Here it is hard to get a straight answer. It’s a structural disconnect. Advancement says financial services should help you and financial services sends me back to advancement. It’s a process issue.”
As can be seen from the above comments, there are a wide variety of relationships to the finances of the institution. Having access to the information one needs to understand their own financial reality is crucial to successfully stewarding a collection.
In an interview with a museum director at a large public university, we heard a perspective that, while the two professions have evolved with very different methods, technological advances and cultural shifts are bringing them into closer alignment. In considering the value of library and museum collaboration, they said: “We’ve all gotten a little less protective about who has access to knowledge. I don’t think either the library or the museum is ahead, but we do bring different methods of how we frame questions, of how we interact with researchers. For a full blown investigation on the complexity of cultural life, respecting different methodologies is essential. Mixing it up does not mean abandoning either methodology. The questions are bigger, so we need collaborative teams more and more.” Navigating these collaborations requires a depth of understanding of the institutional structures, collections practices, and relationship to constituencies that frame each unit’s operations.
In addition to the above findings, the interviews conducted in this project revealed areas of fruitful collaboration between museums and libraries in a number of different areas. From those observations, we selected three higher education institutions as illustrations of effective collaborations. These case studies address the topics of conservation, digital integration of collections, and teaching and learning with cultural heritage materials. They highlight the efforts of University of Iowa, Princeton University and the Atlanta University Consortium.
- Conservation: Both museums and libraries must consider how best to conserve their physical materials, and collaboration can prevent duplication of efforts and potentially elevate the visibility of these collections above their individual components. We will examine how University of Iowa is approaching conservation collaboratively.
- Integrated Discovery: Many library and museum directors expressed an interest in integrating their digital content, in order to make it discoverable by students on a single platform. Very few have succeeded in realizing this goal. We will examine how Princeton University has managed to develop this integration.
- Teaching with Collections: In many cases, there is no strategy for effectively teaching with collections on campus, and it is uncommon for a university to have a complete directory of its primary source collections. We will examine how Atlanta University Center has sought to develop such a strategy and catalog with the GLAM Center.
University of Iowa has achieved an effective collaborative partnership between its libraries and art museum through the connections that have been created by curators and conservation staff. Several factors have contributed to this success:
- The UI Center for the Book (UICB)
- Collaborative Exhibitions
- The Iowa Collections Coalition
The following paragraphs illustrate how these factors have yielded a positive collaboration between the university museum and library.
Conservation practices at the University of Iowa are tied to the university’s influential history with fine art degrees. University of Iowa was the first US institution of higher education to offer completion of a graduate degree with the submission of a creative project, an administrative choice that created the Masters of Fine Arts degree. Elizabeth Catlett was in the first cohort of students to earn an MFA in the School of Art and Art History. UI also established the first creative writing program, known as the Iowa Writers Workshop, which ranks as arguably the top writing program in the world. Another important MFA program on campus, the UI Center for the Book (UICB), trains graduate students in book arts. This includes researching the history and circulation of the book and studying the history of the medium. They teach technical crafts such as letterpress printing, typography, calligraphy, papermaking, and bookbinding. The program also offers training in the conservation and production of books, including artists’ books and literary fine press publications. Precisely because of UICB and the longstanding strengths of university programs, the Libraries collects heavily in these areas of emphasis and its conservation lab has a nationally renowned model book collection for hands-on study. This training has created a supply of conservation labor that can support a variety of collections on campus, including the museum and libraries.
This has resulted in a fruitful pathway from graduate programs at UI to employment at the university museum and libraries. For instance, at the museum, the assistant preparator and assistant registrar have degrees from the UICB, and the manager of collections and exhibition is a graduate of the Library and Information Science program, which also offers cross-listed courses and a dual degree program with the UICB. The museum’s manager of collections and exhibition had on-the-job training as a student worker when she was getting her degree, navigating international loans of Jackson Pollock’s Mural (1943) and other blue chip artists. Chief curator Joyce Tsai praised the quality of the program, saying: “We have just hired a recent graduate of the hybrid LIS and UICB degree. I can’t imagine getting someone of her caliber from any other program. When we hire applicants who have trained synergistically with both the School of Library and Information Sciences and the UICB it means our staff already have hands on experience with unusual artifacts.”
In 2008, Iowa City experienced a devastating natural disaster when the Iowa River flooded. University of Iowa, located on the bank of the river, was severely flooded, incurring $350 million of damage. The museum was displaced. Thankfully, the artwork was saved, but it has been without a dedicated building and its exhibition space limited to a small teaching space since. This scenario has forced new relationships to emerge between the museums and many university partners.
For instance, the managers of various collections on campus have formed the University of Iowa Collection Coalition, which meets monthly to discuss their shared needs, and opportunities to further common goals. Interviewees gave the impression that collaboration is not driven by formal entities as much as organic relationships and affinities. The libraries’ special collections and archives include ephemeral materials produced by artists that were intended to bypass the art market, such as the Sackner collection of concrete and visual poetry, and a significant Dada collection. It complements the strengths that the museum holds in modern and contemporary art. The print collection at the museum also often relates closely to manuscripts and rare volumes in the libraries.
In recent years, the museum and libraries have identified exhibition opportunities that highlight areas of collections depth, make use of library and museum expertise, and tap into faculty scholarship. For example, Tsai co-curated two concurrent exhibitions with professors Luis Martín Estudillo and Anna Barker to mark the 150th anniversary of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace by bringing the novel in conversation with Francisco Goya’s “Disasters of War.” Goya’s “Disasters of War” was posthumously published the same year that Tolstoy began his novel War and Peace. Both examine the impact of Napoleon’s wars across Europe. The art museum has a complete first edition of “Disasters of War,” which was conserved by Símon and assistant conservator Elizabeth Stone, in close consultation with internationally renowned Goya scholars. The individual prints were exhibited at the museum teaching space and concurrently at special collections in the main library that also featured first editions of Tolstoy’s monumental novel.
This was an instance of collaboration that was borne from an alignment between departmental faculty, library staff, and the museum’s curator. Such programs were occasionally found to occur in a number of different universities; collaborating by interacting archival materials with the museum collection is a common first step to build relationships and establish workflows between the library and museum. But a further collaboration to develop an exhibition called “Dada Futures” illustrates the important connection that grew between the library’s conservation staff and the museum’s curatorial team.
The exhibition was drawn from the strengths of the museum and library’s special collections, it was installed at the museum teaching space, and was co-curated by Tsai, Tim Shipe, curator of the International Dada Archive and Arts and Literature Librarian in the UI Libraries, along with English professors Jennifer Buckley and Stephen Voyce. As the curator of the Dada Archive, Shipe is responsible for the collection of Dada artifacts. “It was a chance to highlight a shared strength of our collections,” Tsai said. But the team faced challenges in displaying these works, which were often composed of unusual materials and were difficult to care for and display. “There was a huge variety of objects. It would be challenging to show under the best of circumstances. We are grateful that the preservation team at the library has a clear sense of how to treat and stabilize these objects. Many of them are light sensitive. We worked collaboratively to figure out strategies to display. It was only possible because we had such sophisticated in-house expertise. Giselle Simón was incredibly important to that show.” Simón is a conservator at the university and a faculty member for the UICB.
Simón explained that the two of them developed a project specific workflow. “When this came to fruition, when Joyce [Tsai] came up with the idea to hold an exhibition on Dada material, it made sense that the conservation lab would help to prepare those materials and that I would be associated with the group developing the show.” Simón explained that there are formal workflows in place for conservators to assess acquisitions and collections across campus, but these deeper engagements come from a natural affinity that exists between the two units. Simón and Tsai are genuinely interested in each other’s work and have sought collaborations together. Their managers, museum director Lauren Lessing and university librarian John Culshaw, are supportive and encouraging of building these connections on campus. In Fall 2022, the new art museum will open next to the main library, helping to sustain these links into the future.
In the 2018 Oberlin Summit, the issue of integrated discovery platforms was discussed and reported on. Findings on this topic included, “Participants uniformly spoke of the desire for a universal discovery system that can pull from all campus collections in a single search. For such a discovery system to be possible, however, the description and metadata standards for museum and library collections must be brought into accordance with each other.” This interest was confirmed over our interviews, though very few institutions had succeeded in realizing such an integration. Princeton University has developed an in-house solution to the project of integrating discovery of museum content on the library’s platform. Several technological developments, as well as changes in strategic priorities, allowed for the process to succeed. These developments include:
- Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
- International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF)
- Amazon Web Service (AWS)
The following section offers a description of Princeton University’s integrated discovery system. James Steward, Princeton Museum of Art Director, and Anne Jarvis, director of Princeton Libraries, were interviewed initially. They recommended additional interviews with Jon Stroop, Director of Library Information Technology and Digital Services and Cathryn Goodwin, Museum Manager of Collections Information.
Last year, Princeton’s library launched a discovery service that integrated relevant content from the university’s museum of art into its search results. This integration was over a decade in the making, and while the technical challenges ultimately proved fairly simple for the developers who collaborated on this project, the relationships at the leadership level were a greater barrier to realizing this goal until recently.
In 2005, there was already interest in solving the integrated discovery problem in the field. A protocol called Open Archive Initiatives – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) standardized the exchange of metadata in a way that catalyzed some ambitious projects for collecting organizations, which have had less standardized metadata practices than libraries. OAI-PMH allowed collecting institutions to find common fields within their very different recording practices and subsequently build tools together that could allow collections to interact.
There was interest among museum and library staff at Princeton to leverage OAI-PMH to integrate their digital library and museum collections. Two barriers stood in the way of realizing this goal. One was the static nature of the data. Through curators and registrars, museums are constantly updating and amending the data associated with their collections, and at this time there were not strong technological solutions to allow data to be updated in real time. Second, territoriality between units and departments created barriers to extracting data. James Steward, director of the Princeton Art Museum, said, “What made the difference was moving from a more siloed mentality to a more collaborative mentality, and a big part of that is personality. Anne Jarvis, and the new IT leadership, have that mentality. Previously, people didn’t see the degree to which requiring separate search strategies created obstacles for users. There was an assumption that there was not a sufficient number of users who wanted to do this.” Once museum and library leadership aligned to prioritize the technical collaboration, the staff were provided the bandwidth to move towards more integrated platforms.
Princeton didn’t need to build a shared platform to realize this goal, rather the library accesses the museum’s API in order to pull search results from the museum’s collection into the library’s interface. When developers had the green light to pursue this project, they were able to move very quickly to achieve the goal. “In the end, it took two weeks,” said Goodwin, who was surprised by how simple the process was once the scaffolding was in place.
Atlanta University Center: Teaching and Learning with Cultural Heritage Materials with the GLAM Center
Atlanta University Center has achieved an impressive collaboration between their library and two museums, through establishing the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Center. Key factors in the program’s success include:
- Digitization of Cultural Materials
- Faculty training in teaching with cultural heritage
- Increased visibility of library archives and museum collections
The Atlanta University Center (AUC) is the largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities. The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library (RWWL) partners with its member institutions—Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College—to provide information management, instruction and access to global information resources, and cultural preservation of the AUC. The RWWL is a centralized library serving all four institutions. Its complete collection exceeds one million items, and is an essential archive of the African-American experience, with strong collections in the civil rights movement. It also has preserved artists’ papers that complement many of the works in the consortium’s two museums, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and Clark Atlanta University to Art Museum.
The RWWL is structured unusually for an academic library, operating as a non-profit independently of the colleges and universities. It has its own board, which includes senior administration and faculty representation from the consortium. In 2016, the library received a three year grant from the Mellon Foundation to establish the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning. The center had three goals: provide faculty training in object based learning with objects from the AUC library, archives and museums into the institutions’ curricula with archives; introduce students to the value of the AUC library, archives and museums to support and enrich their academic studies; increase visibility, resource sharing, access and discoverability of the AUC library, archives and museums through a shared digital platform and online portal.
Initially, there were challenges to creating physical and digital access to these collections. The center did not have a centralized physical space to bring works from museum collections and archival materials into dialogue with each other. While the library was already providing access to several thousand items through their digital repository, many of the library and museum materials were not digitized, which proved a further challenge to engaging these materials with each other. The library was able to enhance its existing digitization program with a substantial grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The CLIR grant allowed the library to facilitate the digitization of roughly 740,000 pages and items including photographs, theses, dissertations, and publications. Through this process, the GLAM Center was able to offer a platform where select items from the library’s archives and the museums’ collections could be intersected. The library was able to prioritize digitizing works that would strengthen the digital holdings of the GLAM Center, and museums were able to fund a photographer to bring much of their collections into a digital portal for the first time. The digitization process involved thinking holistically about cultural heritage materials, and catalyzed connections between the units.
Martina Dodd, Curator of Object Based Learning at RWWL, described this as a breakthrough for the program: “Because there was not a designated physical space where objects and documents from the museums and archives could come together for object based learning, the digital portal was so important. It became a centralized space where we could bring high resolution images of artworks, artifacts, and archival material together. The online portal is where we were able to do the most blending of collections.”
A distinctive feature of the project was that it included formal faculty training through a series of workshops. These workshops were designed for AUC faculty, but they were also open to the public, which meant librarians and curators were able to attend as well. “An unexpected success of the workshops were librarians having the opportunity to learn more about the archival and art collections housed at the AUC. Many librarians began to incorporate this information into their information literacy classes they presented to students and faculty.”
The faculty fellowship addressed the goal of supporting faculty teaching with archives. This fellowship allowed the library to teach pedagogical methods with archival materials to eleven faculty in the consortium. These sessions were open to the public, which allowed librarians and curators to benefit from the programming as well. Faculty then incorporated what they had learned into their curriculum, and the GLAM center staff supported these courses.
On July 28th, 2020, two faculty fellows participated in a webinar hosted by the GLAM Center, and presented their experiences with their students from the program. Bernida Webb-Binder, assistant professor of art history, curatorial studies and visual culture at Spelman College, described one of the assignments she gave her students, as well as some of the results of their work. The assignment was unusual in that it invited students to write fictionalized correspondences from the perspective of an artist or one of their correspondents. The intention was to produce ekphrastic literary prose from an engagement with archival materials such as artists’ correspondences and papers. Webb-Binder’s assignment invites her students to deepen their understanding of artist practices and perceptions through a creative engagement with the archive that is grounded in a research framework.
In its first semester, Webb-Bender and the GLAM Center had a single session with students, focusing on information literacy as well as studying how archival letters create knowledge. They realized by the end of the semester that one session was not enough to meet their goals for student learning outcomes. The next iteration of the course was more deeply embedded in the archive, and yielded improved results. Webb-Binder provided examples to illustrate the learning outcomes from this process. In one instance, a student wrote about an Edmonia Lewis sculpture that is in the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Collection. The student wrote a letter in the voice of the artist, after studying her letters. The student’s letter is addressed to the artist’s brother, and is intended to be read in the author’s voice, but it includes footnotes that connect the variety of creative choices the author has made to evidence gathered in archival sessions.
This type of creative synthesis is possible in part because the library’s archives hold many of the artist’s papers for those represented in the museum’s galleries. As Dodd said, “The AUC Archives Research Center along with Spelman College Archives have numerous records, scrapbooks, and personal correspondence of artists who have works of art within the collections of Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and Clark Atlanta University Art Museum. There was a great dialog between the collections, we found, and we are figuring out how to emphasize this more, especially by engaging with students studying art history and curatorial studies.” Dodd explained that there is value in being able to study the artists’ process, rather than just the final product hanging in the museum.
Another professor, Charmayne E. Patterson, associate professor of African American studies, and African women’s studies and history at Clark Atlanta University, teaches a course on the Jim Crow South. Prior to the GLAM fellowship, her students would produce a standard research paper on the subject. With her engagement as a GLAM fellow, she was able to incorporate oral histories into the assignment, which added a new level of nuance to the reports. The introduction of these oral histories created a greater proximity to individual narratives. “They heard about the experience of the institution and segregation and the practice of segregation in the south. Their level of engagement and the ways they utilized these resources was considerably improved relative to students in the past.” Patterson said she thinks the improved student learning outcomes were directly correlated to the fact that students had a deeper level of understanding about the ways they could enhance their research by utilizing archival resources.
The archive was indeed able to realize its goals of improving student engagement and training faculty in teaching with the archive, as was evident from these reports. But they also were able to measure engagement with the platform quantitatively; usage of the archives increased by 40 percent over the course of the grant. The GLAM Center stands as a thriving example of implementing teaching and learning with archives and collections structurally in the curriculum, through engaging faculty, digitizing materials, and bringing archival materials alive through creative assignments.
There are a number of structural characteristics that university administrations can adopt to facilitate greater collaboration between museums and libraries. These include aligning reporting relationships to put directors on an even plane, involving peer directors in hiring committees, and encouraging collaborations in shared operations like technology, conservation and teaching and learning with cultural heritage materials.
But in practice, most of the success we observed in this field came from deliberate relationship building between campus units. Both library and museum directors frequently shared that creating connections and forming relationships with their counterparts was crucial to effectively do their jobs. In one of our interviews, a museum director described this as an effective way of platforming the museum on campus: “I make it my business to know all the deans. Any time there’s an opening on a committee I volunteer. When the strategic planning process gets going, I sign up for it. You have to be proactive in terms of building relationships. When the structural connections didn’t exist, we knew we needed to insert ourselves in the heart of the university.”
A library director at a different institution shared remarkably similar thoughts. Describing her first role as chair of a department, she says, “I learned that the best thing you can do is show up for things. I try to go to as many events as I can. If a student invites me to something, I show up. I go to the museum as often as I can. Our work is relationship building. Without healthy relationships outside of formal structures, it is much more difficult to help students realize their potential.”
It is not the case that imposing a one-size-fits-all reform to the structural relationships between museums and libraries will necessarily yield fruitful collaborative projects. Certain administrative changes can improve these opportunities, depending on the historical context of the university, and the strengths and weaknesses of each unit. But the most important driver of effective collaborations in the field is, in most cases, within the control of the directors of these units. When directors succeed in forming productive and trusting relationships with one another it allows for a great deal of creativity in the way their collections are utilized, the various skill sets that can be employed to present collections, and ultimately in the impact these institutions have on their constituents.
- Jill Deupi and Charles Eckman, “Prospects and Strategies for Deep Collaboration in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Sector,” University of Miami, 2016, https://scholarship.miami.edu/discovery/fulldisplay/alma991031447656302976/01UOML_INST:ResearchRepository. ↑
- Andria Derstine, Alexia Hudson-Ward, Elizabeth Edgar, and Pamela Snyder, “Academic Art Museum and Library Collaborations: Current Practices and Future Directions,” Oberlin College, May 2019, https://digitalcommons.oberlin.edu/ocl_works/66/. ↑
- Accounting for in-state tuition when relevant. ↑
- We use “provost” as a shorthand for chief academic officer, a position which sometimes has other titles, especially at smaller institutions, where it may be styled a dean. ↑
- Trevor Dawes, “Devaluing the MLS vs. Respect for all Library Workers,” June 29, 2018, https://trevordawes.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/devaluing-the-mls-vs-respect-for-all-library-workers/. ↑
- They are drawn from supplemental interviews conducted at the University of Iowa with Joyce Tsai, chief curator of the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, as well as Giselle Simón, conservator at the University of Iowa Libraries. Interviews were also conducted with Lauren Lessing, the director of the art museum, and John Culshaw, university librarian. ↑
- Edward Delaney, “Where Great Writers Are Made,” The Atlantic, August 1, 2007, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/08/where-great-writers-are-made/306032/. ↑
- Andrea Neri, Gabriele Villarini, Louise J. Slater, and Francesco Napolitano, “On the Statistical Attribution of the Frequency of Flood Events Across the US Midwest,” Advances in Water Resources 127 (2019): 225-236. ↑
- University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, https://stanleymuseum.uiowa.edu/events/goyas-disasters-of-war-and-tolstoys-war-and-peace-a-dialogue-between-art-and-literature/. ↑
- “Dada Futures,” University of Iowa, May 17, 2029,https://dadafutures.lib.uiowa.edu/. ↑
- Andria Derstine, Alexia Hudson-Ward, Elizabeth Edgar, and Pamela Snyder. “Academic Art Museum and Library Collaborations: Current Practices and Future Directions.” (2019). ↑
- Martin Halbert, Joanne Kaczmarek, and Kat Hagedorn, “Findings from the Mellon Metadata Harvesting Initiative,” in Traugott KochIngeborg and Torvik Sølvberg (eds) Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, Proceedings of the 7th European Conference, ECDL, Trondheim, Norway, August 17-22, 2003, Springer. ↑
- At this point, the library’s systems were compatible with the museum’s because they were built on Blacklight’s Solr. ↑