Instituting a framework for reparative description

Stephanie M. Luke, Sharon Mizota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes a study to understand how galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) in the United States are undertaking reparative description efforts. The study involved interviews with representatives from nineteen institutions that had published or presented on their implementation of reparative description between 2017 and 2020. The authors inquired about the nature of reparative description efforts at the institution, how the work was initiated and conducted, and the interviewees’ thoughts about its long-term sustainability at the organization. This article highlights findings from these interviews and the trends that emerged. One of the most significant discoveries was the difficulty GLAM workers reported in assessing the impact of reparative description work, an issue that many interviewees believed could negatively affect the trajectory and progress of the work in the future. Informed by the study’s findings, the authors developed a tool to assist institutions in evaluating and benchmarking their initiatives. The Maturity Model for Reparative Description (MMRD), describes and classifies reparative description work across eight evaluative categories. The authors offer the MMRD as a flexible model for institutions to adopt and adapt as a framework for assessing their reparative description work, measuring the progress of their initiatives, and planning and projecting areas of strategic growth.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchival Science
StateE-pub ahead of print - Mar 29 2024


  • Inclusive metadata
  • Maturity model
  • Organizational assessment
  • Reparative description
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences
  • History


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