Friday, November 29, 2019

November 2019 Update

what's more Canadian than talking about
heritage while eating lunch while
overlooking a hockey rink?
Museum Evaluation Program
Orientation sessions for 2020 are done! Phew! Anita and Karin put in a lot of mileage this month, talking about evaluation in Dartmouth, Liverpool, Sydney and Truro. It was great to see everyone and enjoy some cake together. It was especially great to meet so many board members and to hear from them how helpful and informative orientation was. We didn't go asking for this feedback, but were pleasantly surprised to have at least one board member come up to us at each session to say they were so glad they attended, and how much they learned. If your museum is being evaluated in 2020, here's some important info:
- presentation slides have been posted on our website.
- key documents (including the Documentation Review and Site Evaluation forms) can be downloaded from our website.
- the Q&A email group is being built and the first message will go out very soon. If you didn't attend an orientation session and want to be added to this learning group, contact Karin.

of course we had to have cake
For those that were evaluated in 2019, a friendly reminder that the deadline to apply for Accreditation is fast approaching - December 20th! You can learn more about eligibility and download the application form from our website. Feel free to contact Karin with any questions. We're excited to roll out this new element of the Museum Evaluation Program and look forward to celebrating museum excellence with everyone. Anita has been meeting with a sponsor and marketing company about the branding and marketing of Accreditation, so while those details aren't settled yet, they are well underway.

CollectiveAccess Updates
Over the past month, 282 new records and 2,929 new images were added to the databases. This gives us grand totals of 307,356 records and 215,891 images.

Regionally, here's the breakdown:
Southwest - 136,796 artifacts, 83,255 images
Central - 102,882 artifacts, 62,179 images
Northeast - 36,539 artifacts, 53,341 images
Cape Breton - 31,139 artifacts, 17,116 images

Our image of the month is a lesson in training, in that we can't assume a new employee or volunteer will understand collections care and handling. While we may think it shouldn't need to be said, this image is proof that you have to tell people not to wear the artifacts. This is a particularly concerning case as it is a lace glove; fragile, easily picked by a fingernail. Not to mention the oils and dirt on the model's skin that has now been transferred to this glove. No matter how tempting it might be, do not try on clothing from the collection. Mannequins and forms should be used to demonstrate how items are worn.
This is also a lesson in monitoring staff and volunteers who are doing hands-on collections work. Again, you can't assume that all is going well and that standards are being followed. It is absolutely crucial to check people's work, and to check in with them on progress. I know we're all overloaded and it is a huge relief to be able to delegate tasks, but the last thing you want to do is broadcast to the world that you're putting the collection at risk. And that's exactly what this image does.

SME Updates
The partnerships with our SMEs continue! Thanks to Gary for hosting us this month at the Army Museum and thanks to Eric, our ships portraits expert, for joining us via Zoom meetings a few times. Both Sandi and Ayla learned a lot during this process. Sandi has made great progress with editing footage this month and there are some fantastic clips of our SMEs in action that we are excited to share on NovaMuse soon. For now, here's a sneak peek behind the scenes during filming at the Army Museum.

Artefacts Canada
We have sent out a few messages now regarding refreshing content on Artefacts Canada (AC) and more than 30 museums have answered affirmatively. We've added thousands of records and images to AC. If you are among the 20ish museums that haven't yet responded and given us permission to do a biannual refresh of your information, please contact Sandi.

Old Loans and New Resources
Ayla has completed her research project and the result is a Guide to Digitizing Time Based Media. If you have cassette tapes, records, wax cylinders, compact discs and the like in your collection, you'll want to check this out.
We are also really happy to finally release the new version of our Loan Reconciliation Toolkit. This was a long time in the making, but ANSM and our lawyer are very pleased with the final result. Ayla is wrapping up lender lists right now, after which we'll be emailing customized versions to those museums who requested them. As far as we can tell, this resource is the only one of its kind in Canada. We really hope that it helps museums of all shapes and sizes in addressing the old loans sitting in their institutions.