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Topic: Museums

Blog Post
April 5, 2022

Launching the 2022 Art Museum Director Survey 

In early 2020, Ithaka S+R launched the inaugural art museum director survey. This survey gathered the attitudes of museum directors on topics including leadership and strategy, budget and staffing, visitors and the public, and collections. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors of museums across the country, the museum director survey had been in the field only a few weeks. We closed the survey with a fifty percent response rate. The evidence gathered…
Past Event
April 8, 2022

Data for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in the Arts

Ithaka S+R with Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Mark your calendars! Next Friday, April 8th at 12:30pm Eastern, Ithaka S+R will be in conversation with the Mellon Foundation via Instagram Live (@mellonfdn) to discuss the value and impact of data for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the arts. Now and over the next few months, please send your questions or comments to sr-amsds@ithaka.org. We encourage all art museum employees and stakeholders to engage with us in this future-forward discussion about the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey.  …
Blog Post
March 17, 2022

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey Cycle 3

Interim Updates

On Monday, February 7, 2022, Ithaka S+R opened Cycle 3 of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey—a survey funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and fielded in partnership with the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Cycle 3 has now been open for approximately one month, and we would like to offer the following updates to support art museums still compiling…
Past Event
March 2, 2022

Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey “How to” Webinar

On March 2, to support the data collection process for the Art Museum Demographic Survey, Ithaka S+R staff will walk through the instructions for the survey and discuss the frequently asked questions. The session will end with a Q&A for attendees to ask questions of their own that address the specific concerns of their institutions. We encourage all art museum senior staff and human resources staff to attend. If you have not received the link to the Survey,…
Blog Post
March 2, 2022

The A*CENSUS II: Archives Administrators Survey is Live

The A*CENSUS II: Archives Administrators Survey launched this week!  In 2004, the original A*CENSUS broke ground by surveying archivists from across the country. It had a tremendous impact on the archives profession. The findings empowered archival institutions to advocate for resources and benchmark against peers, allowed researchers to study trends in the workforce, and informed curricula and educational offerings by academic institutions and professional organizations. A*CENSUS II builds upon the foundation of the original…
Blog Post
March 1, 2022

How to Navigate Remote Learning when Teaching with Cultural Heritage Materials

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, instructors had to adapt quickly to new teaching and learning environments. For those instructors who teach with cultural heritage materials, the shift to remote learning was even more complex. They had to discover new ways to incorporate archives, museum collections, special collections and place based learning within restricted learning environments, and often they had to contend with uneven levels of access to adequate technology while doing so. Through these challenges,…
Research Report
March 1, 2022

Teaching with Cultural Heritage Materials During the Pandemic

Cultural heritage materials can offer rewarding learning opportunities and impactful experiences for students across a variety of disciplines, especially in the humanities and social sciences. These learning opportunities create important historical and/or cultural context within a discipline, allowing students to deepen their engagement with a discipline, or see themselves, perhaps for the first time, as a scholar. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant move to online instruction at many colleges and universities, disrupted pedagogical practices and the ways that…
Blog Post
February 11, 2022

Announcing the Next Cycle of the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Ithaka S+R opened the third cycle of the survey on February 7

In 2014 and 2018, Ithaka S+R partnered with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), to conduct a quantitative study on diversity within art museums who are part of these associations. We are excited to announce the continued collaboration through a third cycle of the demographic survey examining diversity amongst art museum employees.  Previous Cycles…
Blog Post
January 18, 2022

Ithaka S+R is Growing: Join Us!

Over the past few years, the scope and breadth of Ithaka S+R’s work has grown substantially. The Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums program has seen increases in cohort projects that explore critical issues facing libraries; grant funded initiatives focused on digital preservation, higher education in prison, student success, and museum leadership; national surveys of faculty, community college administrators, and archivists; and sponsored work on topics including the health of the research enterprise and diversifying collections.  To…
Blog Post
November 12, 2021

Announcing a New Research Collaboration

Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums and Ithaka S+R Are Fielding the First Art Museum Trustee Survey this Fall

We are excited to announce the launch of Ithaka S+R’s collaboration with the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). BTA, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is a membership organization working to increase the inclusion of Black perspectives and narratives in North American art museums to make these institutions more equitable and excellent spaces of cultural engagement. Using programming, research, and strategic communications, BTA is helping its members–Black trustees…
Blog Post
November 12, 2021

Three Questions for Deirdre Harkins

On November 1, Deirdre Harkins joined Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team through a collaboration with the Black Trustees Alliance for Art Museums (BTA). In this interview, she reflects on what brought her to BTA and what she hopes to accomplish during her fellowship.  What attracted you to the BTA fellowship? I found BTA’s mission statement of increasing the inclusion of Black perspectives in museums especially compelling. It directly coincides with the research approach…
Blog Post
July 26, 2021

SAA 2021 Annual Meeting

What to Watch For

Next month, archivists from across the country will convene virtually to discuss emerging and ongoing issues in the field at the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting, ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2021: Together/Apart. This year’s meeting will take place from August 4 to 6 (with some pre-conference activities earlier in the week) and will showcase 10 live sessions and 20 pre-recorded sessions with live Q&As. The conference will feature keynote speakers, general sessions, networking opportunities,…
Past Event
August 5, 2021

Makala Skinner at SAA’s ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2021

On August 5 and 6, join Makala Skinner to learn more about the A*CENSUS survey, which is a large scale census of archivists. The details for each session are below: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT on Thursday, August 5 Conversation Lounge: Research and Innovation @ SAA: A*CENSUS II SAA has received funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to conduct a major research initiative: the second large-scale census of archivists. A lot has changed…
Blog Post
June 28, 2021

Evaluating Success in the Midst of a Protracted Pandemic

Four Guiding Principles

There was a “before” and there will be an “after,” but how do we evaluate success while at our current locus—somewhere in the nebulous middle of a prolonged pandemic?  More than a year into the pandemic, many evaluations are being conducted using measures of success that were established in a radically different context. The environment has shifted, and the goals and definitions of success for items under evaluation—everything…
Blog Post
April 15, 2021

Three Questions for Kara Bledsoe

On April 1, Kara Bledsoe joined Ithaka S+R’s Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums team. In this interview, she reflects on what brought her to Ithaka S+R and what she hopes to accomplish through her work with us. What attracted you to Ithaka S+R? My background is in management consulting for cultural organizations. I drafted strategic plans, facilitated visioning workshops, and evaluated clients’ operations to help them optimize the balance between market forces and their missions. Most of the research…
Blog Post
April 5, 2021

Three Considerations for Inclusively and Responsibly Analyzing and Reporting on Demographics

Over the last several months, we’ve shared Ithaka S+R strategies for ensuring inclusivity in writing and selecting demographic questions—key steps in the early stages of the data collection planning process. But inclusivity concerns don’t stop once data collection has begun, but continue when a survey is put into the field, an interview is conducted, or administrative data collection is facilitated.  Ensuring proper care in collecting and…
Blog Post
March 23, 2021

Teaching with Primary Sources: Pre-Pandemic Lessons for Post-COVID Futures

The second iteration in Ithaka S+R’s Teaching Support Services project investigates the teaching practices and support needs of instructors who work with primary source materials. Today we are excited to publish the project’s capstone report. Still in the pandemic but beginning to glimpse life on the other side, now is an opportune time to begin to envision not just the future, but the many potential futures…
Research Report
March 23, 2021

Teaching with Primary Sources

Looking at the Support Needs of Instructors

Encounters with primary sources—historical or contemporary artifacts that bear direct witness to a specific period or event—are central to the pedagogy of many disciplines, especially in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Their use in undergraduate instruction aligns with universities’ commitments to experiential and inquiry-based learning and library initiatives focused on media and information literacy. Reflecting the importance of the topic within higher education, “Supporting Teaching with Primary Sources” attracted the largest cohort of any Ithaka S+R program to date.
Blog Post
January 28, 2021

Convening the Cohort

Teaching with Digital Cultural Heritage Materials in the Pandemic

Last summer we announced a Mellon funded project to study how higher education instructors are adapting their practices of teaching with cultural heritage materials during the pandemic. In this post we share how our project is developing and the issues we are tracking as our research gets underway. Why are we doing this project? We remain in a similarly unprecedented landscape six months later, as the COVID-19 virus remains a terrible threat. Technology has allowed certain types of activities…
Blog Post
January 11, 2021

When to Ask (or Not Ask) Demographic Questions

People are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with sharing personal information—like email addresses, names of their spouses, and demographics such as race-ethnicity and gender—with their employers and other organizations more broadly. Many people are concerned about their privacy as more and more data are collected in a wide range of contexts. Some are apprehensive about research and associated data collection in general due to its history of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination and mistreatment in a…