Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

J. Patrick. Kociolek

Second Advisor

Laura Elliff Cruz

Third Advisor

Maggie Mazzullo


This thesis outlines the history of the professionalization of the care of cultural heritage (i.e. art, anthropological, archaeological and ethnographic objects) by focusing on the fields of conservation and collections management. It examines differences and overlaps between the scopes and training for these two professions, the effects of changing art practices on traditional notions and methods of preservation, and avenues for connecting collections managers with conservators and conservation resources. Interviews conducted with working professionals in these fields uncover perspectives on collections care, training and resource needs for collections managers working in institutions without conservation staff, perspectives of conservation professionals on providing conservation training for non-conservators, and methods for connecting the two fields in ways that are considerate of ethics and values tied to preserving cultural heritage. Finally, suggestions are provided for how to increase shared knowledge between the fields, and consequently to improve collections manager’s access to appropriate conservation resources.