Municipal museums in Canada : contemporary directions
This thesis studies municipal museums in Canada, defined as museums owned and operated under a bylaw or directive of a municipal corporation. The objectives are to examine ideas about these museums, to document their development, to identify their operation within the local government structure, and to analyze their contemporary state. The first part identifies a tradition in which municipal museums have evolved in response to gradual increases in community support. Their organization has been related to local government structures. The middle part documents a national review which identified municipal museums and collected information on their establishment, management and operation. A survey and case studies provide statistical and documentary evidence which is presented on a national and regional basis. From these findings it has been possible to define the municipal museum population of some three hundred institutions representing approximately one quarter of all museums, identify their characteristics, explain management arrangements, outline the role of local government, describe operations, and document the status of policy development. In the final section implications of the findings are examined. Influences on museums in the areas of their role in society, the emergence of standards and patterns of support are outlined. Current developments indicate that these museums are adopting planning as a museum activity. The established identity of municipal museums is a factor which will contribute to their continuing evolution. In some regions municipal museum services may be improved and expanded through formal cooperative efforts. By identifying, documenting and analyzing the municipal museum phenomenon in Canada this work clearly establishes that these institutions are a significant and potentially unified group of museums. Supporting appendices list municipal museums by date of foundation, province, survey response and planning studies. Questionnaires, research guidelines and a select bibliography are provided.