Links between Libraries and Museums: a Case Study of Library-Museum Collaboration at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum


Established in 2005, the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM) is a relatively new private museum that aims to collect all forms of materials related to the development of boats, ships, maritime exploration and trade, and naval warfare on the South China coast, as well as its adjacent seas.  The Museum not only serves as a unique platform for teaching and learning of the local heritage in Hong Kong, it also contributes greatly to the promotion of community engagement and social connections.  The HKMM is also equipped with its own museum library, and it is called the CSSC (China State Shipbuilding Corporation) Maritime Heritage Resource Centre.  In addition to supporting various research activities carried out by the Museum, this Resource Centre also serves as a central, and yet comprehensive repository for publications, and other archival documents on maritime heritage and history related to Southeastern China. 

This paper aims to compare the distinctive operational practices, and user needs between museums and libraries.  It also examines the benefits and challenges of museum-library collaborations in the new knowledge-driven society.  This paper features an interview with Kitty But (Librarian, CSSC Maritime Heritage Resource Centre, The Hong Kong Maritime Museum) and Robert Trio (Project Officer for Technology, The Hong Kong Maritime Museum), and in which they discussed their professional experiences in the fields of audience education; the implementation of different new technologies associated with the museum and library services; and various collaborative initiatives carried out between the Museum and the Resource Centre.  Upcoming challenges and opportunities faced by both the Museum and Resource Centre are also discussed in this paper.


HKMM; Hong Kong Maritime Museum; Library-Museum Collaboration; Operational practices; User needs.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Patrick Lo, Kitty But, Robert Trio

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