Lesley Langa Doctoral Dissertation Defense: A Collections Care Index

Please join us for Lesley Langa's doctoral dissertation defense. 
Title: A Collections Care Index
Abstract: Collections care is a set functions within memory institutions that help preserve the items that they hold. It includes conservation alongside other responsibilities like security and funding. Any institution with a historical, art, or circulating collection that performs these responsibilities should care for their collection performing these tasks. This study analyzes data from a national sample survey called the Heritage Health Information (HHI) Study 2014 through building an index of collections care questions from the survey and performing a multiple regression on the index score. The HHI survey measured collections care practice from all U.S. institutions resulting in a robust 1,714 responses. The index process begins by comparing the questionnaire to a few similar studies. Across them, there is a common list of twelve key practices in collections care. Each is interrogated for its relationship to collections care then cross-tabulated to evaluate statistical relationships. An original scoring rubric assigns a score to each measure, then all measures are compiled into a single composite index score. In a secondary analysis, the index score serves as the dependent variable in a multiple regression where organizational type, budget size, and the size of collections items are independent variables to measure the effect each can have on the score. It was expected that most scores would be higher than 15.5 indicating that the HHI respondents performed all of the core duties and some of the supplemental ones. Unfortunately, these expectations were not met. The highest proportion of scores was below that mark in the 11 to 15.5 range. Archives have the highest median score, although museums have the highest proportion of scores above 15.5. Overall, the predicted scores for large budgets proved to have the greatest effect on scores. The index is the key contribution of this study serving as a tool to help organizations determine how their efforts to perform each responsibility contributes to their overall management. This has implications for performance management for cultural heritage organizations. Limitations arise from the respondent pool, generally, with low response rates from large subgroups of the cultural heritage sector.
Committee Members: 
Dr. John Carlo Bertot, Co-Chair
Dr. Ricardo L. Punzalan, Co-Chair
Dr. Paul T. Jaeger
Dr. Kari M. Kraus
Dr. Ira Chinoy, Dean’s Representative
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