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A preservation system: Information for managing conservation in the Museum of London

Keene, Suzanne Victoria; (1993) A preservation system: Information for managing conservation in the Museum of London. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Museum collections are held in trust for all. Their preservation is a primary museum function. Adequate, timely and relevant information is essential to success in this. The application of management information techniques to the management of museum conservation in general is discussed in detail. The background of management theory and management information is reviewed and its application to museum management is discussed. The operational context for museums is described. The operational system that the information is to serve is then analysed; only thus can information for managing be made relevant and useful. Systems analysis, and in particular soft systems methodology, has been developed as a tool for clarifying complex real world situations. The wider system, the operation of museums generally is first analysed using this technique; then, the processes of conservation itself. From this, a conceptual system and the processes it would have to include can be described. Functional information analysis is then used together with a discussion of key success factors to specify the generalised information requirements of these processes. The means by which the data for the system are collected and analysed are then considered. Their analysis and presentation are discussed. A methodology for auditing the state of preservation of museum collections is presented. A number of techniques for assisting in decision making and prioritising action, and their relevance to the information needs of conservation, are then reviewed. The application of the techniques described above to a real-world situation is then described in a case study of the Museum of London. The system is useful to staff at all levels from operational to top management. Finally, this system is evaluated using management information techniques. The evaluation questions whether the techniques investigated did in fact prove useful in the real life system, and how the findings can be used to improve the care of collections in the future.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A preservation system: Information for managing conservation in the Museum of London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Communication and the arts; Conservation; Museum of London; Preservation system
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103596
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