Study Task on article by Rayward (1995)
Having read the Rayward paper, try to decide what the main differences are between libraries, museums and archives, and how these differences might affect how information is organised and retrieved.
To me libraries, museums and archives are different information agencies set up to manage different information resources. Because of the different nature of information resources, each of them has established different sets of standards to catalogue, classify, store/exhibit and retrieve their information sources.
Libraries—handle print (fiction, non-fiction, journals) and non-print (CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs) and other digital and web collection (eDatabases, ebooks etc). Libraries have their unique bibliographic control to process their collection and to eventually share data.
Museums- handle more varied information sources. As long as there is interest among certain people for a particular collection, then there is a place for a special museum. Egs stamp/philatelic museum, toy museum, cat museum, biodiversity museum, costumes museum etc. These museums collect, store and exhibit their unique collection for purposes of informing and educating the public. Their collection is preserved for the future as evidence of the past and present.
Archives-collect important government and other organizations records which may have some semblance of library material as well as museum-like artefacts such as maps, photographs, archival documents (letters, contracts etc), motion pictures and sound recordings. Archival collection are acquired as a form of documentation of a particular activity/function of the organization. The challenge of the archivist is really in determining what to archive and document.
In the words of Rayward (1995), libraries, archives and museums are society’s information infrastructures each managing information resources of different forms/formats hence having special techniques of organizing and managing their unique collection to ensure efficient information retrieval.