Monday, October 17, 2016

September 2016 Update

Museum Evaluation Program
It was a monumental task, but we managed to send out Evaluation Reports to all the sites by the second week of the month. And then I left the country. Okay, so it was for a much-needed vacation, but it still makes a good joke. The reports ended up being a lot longer than we initially thought they would be, in part due to comments and photographs from the evaluators, but it sounds like the museums on the receiving end were appreciative of all this extra effort and input. 

The next step is to conduct various analyses on the scoring and write a report for the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage. Due at the end of October, this is a chance to identify trends and share feedback that we have received from museums and evaluators with CCH. As you can imagine, having such a vast array of information for 67 museums across the province gives us a lot of data and statistics to work with. We already have several ideas and plans to address the results and help museums move forward. We will also be having a meeting with the Steering Committee to review the process and discuss how things could be improved (date tbd). As you can imagine, taking on this program has been, and continues to be, a major adjustment to ANSM life. Just like researching museum evaluation programs around the world, getting feedback from all the stakeholders is extremely helpful to us.
SME Update
I have been thoroughly impressed by the response Sandi has gotten to SME (Subject Matter Expert) discussions with everyone during site visits. It didn't matter where she went, she always came back with suggestions and contact info for potential SMEs. This is awesome. It shows how invested everyone is in NovaMuse, and how eager we all are to address holes in our collections documentation. Now here comes the bad news. We're a very small office. We wanted to reach out and do some information gathering, a little recon project if you will, but it's impossible to commit to working with all of these newly identified experts immediately. Funding deliverables and other existing commitments require our focus right now. I have spoken with both Algonquin and Fleming colleges about our work in this area, not to mention our other projects on the go that would be great experiences for interns. We think this will be a nice enticement for potential interns, and until other projects settle down a bit, this is the approach we will be taking. Thanks again for the interest. It's really exciting to think about all the possibilities here. 

And now, handing things over to Sandi: 

Desbrisay Museum collection
Hello everyone! Can anyone else believe how quickly September went by? To our partnering sites, I hope you had a busy and fun summer and a smooth transition into September. The leaves are now changing, which means we have been bundled up in ANSM headquarters working away at editing and uploading photographs to CollectiveAccess from our annual site visits, responding to inquiries, and making headway on exciting future projects!
In the month of September, I visited another 6 sites. Again, I want to thank the teams at all of our partnering museums for their dedication and passion in the field. I have been fortunate enough to work with motivated staff and volunteers on the road this summer. And as you start to unwind from your busy season, I look forward to seeing all of your hard work pay off as your records grow and flourish on NovaMuse! Keep a look out for your photographs from this year’s visits, they should all be uploaded shortly. The photos turned out very well!

Collections Database Info
We've had a pretty busy month with database activity, partially because we helped a museum import a photo collection into their database, and partially because of all the #ProjectVicky digitization work that took place over the summer during site visits. It was great to be able to sit down and work through the backlog. Here are the regional stats:
Southwest Region - 113,419 artifacts, 55,468 images
Central Region - 39,704 artifacts, 30,181 images
Northeast Region - 24,900 artifacts, 24,300 images
Cape Breton Region - 22,864 artifacts, 13,771 images

Congrats to the Central region for adding the most artifacts this month, and to the Southwest region for adding the most images!

Canada 150 
We will leave you with a quick update about ANSM’s Canada 150 Project. We have received a number of responses from our partnering museums regarding interest in participation. We are excited to see such a positive response and an already deep understanding of how large of an impact a project like this can have on our communities. We look forward to reviewing inquiries from interested museums in detail and will be making selections in the near future. For those of you wanting a refresher on our vision and goal for Canada150, please see below.
Our Vision:  The purpose of this project is for students throughout Nova Scotia to be given the opportunity to choose 150 artifacts from NovaMuse that they feel best represent Nova Scotia’s story and the province’s role in Confederation. From these artifacts, a community engagement piece will be created and circulated through participating high schools. The result will be a performance piece inspired by Nova Scotia’s story. Using mime, puppeting, digital presentation techniques and informed by your artifacts, students will explore and experience our story in a new and participatory way. There will also be an opportunity for two participating museums to host the performance piece, either at their site or in their community.
Our Goal: Is to establish a sense of community amongst participating partnering museums as we work towards sharing the benefits of NovaMuse as an educational platform within Nova Scotian classrooms. Canada 150 has given us the opportunity to celebrate Nova Scotian heritage and culture in new and exciting ways. We will use NovaMuse to help circulate the history and stories of everyday objects found in the database. By broadening our audience and focusing specifically on sharing the benefits of this learning tool with students and teachers, we are encouraging our wider audience to engage, learn, and share ideas about objects found within museum collections one of our focuses in the NovaMuse User Engagement Plan. The goal of NovaMuse is to help tell the story of Nova Scotia through its material culture, and Canada 150 is giving us the opportunity to take this idea one step further. It is now time for us to give students the opportunity to help tell the story of our province and its role in Confederation by sharing objects that highlight this monumental moment in Canadian history. We believe that this project will engage youth and ignite a passion for Nova Scotia’s history, the same passion that many of us already share in the heritage sector.

That is all for now folks! We look forward to working with you in the cooler months. Please reach out anytime if you have questions about CollectiveAccess and NovaMuse, we are here to help!
 Sandi Stewart, Advisory Assistant