What’s Old Is New Again: The Reconvergence of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Digital Age
As cultural institutions begin to share physical and human resources, and as new technologies reshape approaches to access and preservation, educational programs must respond in kind. However, it is important to ask in what ways the current convergence of libraries, archives, and museums marks a return to tradition rather than a departure from it. Are new technologies and curricula leading these three fields of study and practice into new territory, or do they represent new stages in an ongoing history of acquisition, documentation, representation, and access to the enduring knowledge of our communities? This article examines the historic convergence between these institutions, with a focus on museums and libraries as repositories of cultural artifacts. The long‐standing epistemological links between libraries and museums are explored using archival records and examining two contemporary cases, pointing to the reconvergence of a traditional shared history.