Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Art (MESDA) Craftsmen Database: User Study and Analysis

This exploratory study describes a questionnaire survey of members of Friends of Old Salem and Friends of MESDA and the Collection. The survey was conducted to determine user awareness and user satisfaction of those Friends who have access to the database to study early Southern craftsmen. The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) has placed online an index to the early southern Craftsmen records found in the Research Center at MESDA. This index to the full text Index of Early Southern Artists and Artisans (IESAA) provides researchers with basic information about southern craftsmen who produced works in the South before 1821. The study finds that while most MESDA patrons are aware of many of the formats of the Craftsmen Database, they are not as aware of the online version. The ultimate goal of the survey is to justify the expenditure needed to migrate and add information to the online database. Based on the user awareness findings, it is recommended that more user education about the online database is needed before further expenditures to improve the database can be justified.