The Use of User Studies

William J Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the most fundamental components of archival and manuscript programs is the service offered to users. Despite the centrality of use to archival work, it has been, until recently, largely neglected. This article is intended to: 1) convince archivists that analysis of use deserves greater attention; 2) outline methodologies for regular analysis of daily use and for specialized studies of specific aspects of reference service; and 3) provide examples of results of both kinds of user studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
JournalThe Midwestern Archivist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986


  • archives
  • archivists
  • user studies
  • finding aids
  • reference letters
  • research tools
  • provenance
  • universities
  • written correspondence
  • archival preservation


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