Date of Graduation

Fall 12-17-2015

Document Type

Restricted Project - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Museum Studies

First Advisor

Stephanie Brown, Ph.D.



The Alexander Graham Bell-Joseph Henry Rare Book Collection, housed at the Dibner Library at the Smithsonian Institution, comprises the two scientists’ private libraries. Since being donated to the Smithsonian Libraries by Bell’s family in 1970s, the collection has remained uncataloged.

Former attempts to catalog the collection in order to make it accessible to the public have been unsuccessful. The prominence of both Bell and Henry in the 19th century history of science and the close professional connection between the two figures underlines the importance of making the collection accessible to the public.

This project focuses on three major collections management processes—cataloging, preserving, and digitizing—as key elements of accessibility. The project is designed to be enacted through contractor positions and the proposed cataloging system is MAchine-Readable Cataloging (MARC), also used by the Library of Congress, to facilitate access. When completed, this project will make the Bell-Henry Collection available to scholars, researchers, and members of the public everywhere.