Impact Evaluation of Museums, Archives, and Libraries: Available Evidence Project

January 1st, 2002 | RESEARCH

This report provides a critical overview of impact evaluation in the museums, archives and libraries sector. The study, funded by Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, consisted largely of a review of the literature published during a five year retrospective period, with a particular emphasis on impact evaluations conducted within the UK. An advisory group, representing all three domains, was also established. The methodologies used in, and the evidence obtained from, these evaluation studies are discussed critically within the broad context of social, learning and economic impact. While there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence and descriptions of best practice in the sector, extensive hard evidence of impact, gathered systematically, is often lacking. The most compelling evidence from the review indicates that the sector has an impact on personal development. There is also a current emphasis on the impact evaluation of special projects and initiatives; a shift in emphasis towards the evaluation of core services will require a corresponding shift in professional thinking.


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Team Members

Caroline Wavell, Author, The Robert Gordon University
Graeme Baxter, Author, The Robert Gordon University
Ian Johnson, Author, The Robert Gordon University
Dorothy Williams, Author, The Robert Gordon University

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Audience: Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Literature Review | Reference Materials | Report | Research Products
Environment Type: Library Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs