SJSU’s SAASC hosted an event at LACMA on September 22, 2018, to tour the museum library. We met in the main library with Head of Research and Libraries Alexis Curry. She oversees a staff of eight and a library that contains over 200,000 volumes. She shared with us that curator requests drive the library’s collection. The library is also open to the public – anyone can make an appointment and come do research there.
Next Archivist Jessica Gambling presented to us about the creation and evolution of LACMA’s archival program, which began in 2005. Her job is to take care of the historical records of this popular art museum. As the first museum archivist for LACMA, she built out the system and walked us through some of the early challenges she faced. She walked us through the database programs used for archival process. She also talked about who gets to decide what goes into an exhibit: is it the curator, politicians, cultural forces, or other factors? She also spent time explaining the finances and associated decisions that go into digital preservation at the museum.
All in all, it was an incredibly educational visit. Many thanks to SAAAC for organizing this valuable event! For more information about their upcoming events, please visit their website.