The commonplace that museums are venues that either reflect or foster cross-discipline research and expression helps explain why the professional literature of the social sciences, rhetoric, aesthetics, marketing, history, sociology, anthropology, and art, as well as that of museum administration per se, treats in some manner--though not usually comprehensively--of the division of labor at museums and the nature of the relationship between museum educators and museum curators.
Beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the 1990s, the role of education became increasingly prominent at major American museums, not eclipsing the curator's role but often becoming the most visible and public feature of museum exhibition and administration. The educational mission of museums has enlarged in a track parallel to the development of computer technology. All of the major and many of the minor museums in the United States and the United Kingdom have Internet sites that provide varying degrees of viewer access and supporting research to so-called "virtual collections" that may not be on exhibit in the museum venue; the need for reliable scholarship from educators in a variety of disciplines touching on a museum's art and artifacts may be inferred. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has undertaken a digitization project for museum materials as well as development of guidelines for academic use of such media at colleges (Giral & Dixon, 1996). The Getty is also involved in deve