Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > Online Collections for Natural History Museums: A Heuristic Analysis

This study analyzes the websites of fifty-nine natural history museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in order to determine current practices in online collection information for natural history museums and its relationship to institutional qualities. Using a heuristic content analysis, this study looks at what collection information museums put on their own websites and external websites, search and browsing features for collection information, and whether they include written policies about loans and research visits using collection materials. Using a chi-square test, this information was analyzed in relation to demographic information, such as whether the museum is a non- profit, affiliated with a college or university, government operated, or charges for admission. The findings of this study indicate no significant relationship between these demographic factors, but strong relationships between a museum's likelihood to put collection information online and information about lending and research policies.