Nearly twenty years ago, W. Boyd Rayward became one of the first academics to examine how electronic information and the functional integration of libraries, archives, and museums has affected, and will affect, the information profession. In doing so, he laid the groundwork for an entire research agenda on the topic of digital convergence, where the increased use of, and reliance on, digital resources in libraries, archives, and museums has increasingly blurred the traditional distinctions between these institutions. This paper explores how Rayward’s early work in this area influenced the development of this topic over time, focusing on how information professionals in cultural heritage organizations can and should reconcile their internal perceptions of identity with the external expectations of their users, particularly those who do not or cannot clearly distinguish between different institutions or the information resources they manage. In a world where the traditional assumptions we take for granted about information organization and access in libraries, archives, and museums are simply not shared by our users, the future of the information profession depends on the ability of cultural heritage information professionals to transcend the traditional boundaries between libraries, archives, and museums to meet information needs in the digital age.


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pp. 613-627
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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