Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Charles S. Peterson


Charles S. Peterson


This study is concerned with a comparison of the contemporary to the traditional museum. It analyzes the evolution of roles for museums and considers the changing nature of their support. Using a broad survey of literature related to museums, considerable personal experience and extensive visits and interviews with other museums, it develops the thesis that today's successful museum depends upon a diverse resource and program base. An application of this hypothesis is then made to the museums at Union Station in Ogden, Utah. The product of the study is intended to be a working plan for museum development at Union Station for the period of 1980 to 1985 and it is planned also as a prototype for other museums with similar objectives.

Union Station is the rail passenger depot in Ogden, known as "Junction City" for its role in the construction of the nation's first transcontinental railroad. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and is within the 25th Street National Historic District. It is an active passenger station for AMTRAK; an office for the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads; an office of the Ogden Union Railway and Depot Company and also the regional tourist promotion agency--Golden Spike Empire, Incorporated.

The nucleus of the Union Station project is the museum complex, including the Railroad Museum, the Browning Firearms Museum, and the Kimball-Browning Vintage Car Museum. These functions occupy approximately one-third of the total space at Union Station and must be supported by revenue from other activities as well as from the admissions and sales they themselves generate.

The Union Station objectives of providing museums; economic stability to an historic but debilitated area; a civic and cultural center for the community; an attraction for tourists, and a meeting and convention center are examined in the context of economic self-sufficiency and historic preservation.

The components of a museum program are evaluated, including acquisitions; collections and exhibits; interpretations; registration methods; conservation, and archives and research. Museum management is considered for both personnel and physical planning. Financial development addresses policies and plans for admissions; grants; contributions; a museum shop; a membership program, and fund-raising events. Public relations and promotion and an outreach program conclude the topics of the study.

An appendix includes several useful sections for museum professionals, such as a syllabus for staff training; a glossary; maintenance manual suggestions; a docent orientation course outline, and a five year financial development plan.



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