Library-Museums: A Thesis

You might wonder why I have included a thesis I wrote fifteen years ago on The Library-Museum: An Inquiry into the Nature of a Hybridized Cultural Institution. I am firstly a writer, but specifically a writer interested in sorting out what adds value to our lives (“explore and embrace”). Museums and libraries have the broad resources to do that, and so I felt I had opened up a fair enough study of the unique potential and challenges of institutions that are library-and-museum all at once. At the time I was told that it was the first study of its kind (though one of my classmates did a related study on university programs that merged library science and museum studies curricula).

Inquirers have asked for a digital version of the thesis. I’m happy to report that I have finally retrieved my original files from a zip disk, though the appendices will have to wait until I can get them scanned. Please find the links to the main body below. I hope to reduce everything into a single pdf at some point in the future.  Baylor University Libraries apparently has the thesis in digital format and that should contain the appendices.


This work attempts to define and describe hybridized cultural institutions with a strong library and museum component, noting their specific strengths and challenges, their common behaviors, and their vast potential in the Information Age. It also examines the process of finding meaning in words and objects within the context of these institutions.

The Library-Museum: An Inquiry into the Nature of a Hybridized Cultural Institution

Kathryn L. Brogdon

Copyright © 2002 by Kathryn L. Brogdon
All rights reserved

CONTENTS (click to download pdf files)

Epigraph: “All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist. . .” Browning, “Abt Vogler”

Dedication: To Mairi C. Rennie



    • The Nature of Library-Muesums
    • The Scholarly Institutions
    • The Complete Library-and-Museums
    • The Most Difficult to Classify Library-Museums
    • The Presidential Library-Museums
    • The Problem of Identity
    • New Ways of Learning
    • Examples of Libraries Exhibiting Museum Behaviors
    • Institutional Evolution
    • Crossing the Great Divide
    • Further Issues of Identity and Funding Agencies
    • Some Exceptional Situations
    • The Common Bonds of Libraries and Museums
    • The Process of Finding Meaning
    • Learning from Objects in Context
    • Digitization of Collections and On-line Information Banks
    • Rethinking Education
    • Professionalization of Library and Museum Personnel
    • New Approaches for Self-Definition

APPENDICES (omitted)


Header photo above via Wikimedia Commons; photo credit: Ham / CC BY-SA