Monday, April 14, 2008

February 2008 Update


To date, we have received renewal cheques and/or contracts from 39 sites. As mentioned in your renewal letter, payments can wait until the new fiscal year, but we would really like to get all the contracts in as soon as possible.

CHIN Meetings

I spent February 4-8 in Ottawa meeting with CHIN, CCI, and representatives of Provincial Museum Associations from around the country. This was a chance to compare notes, and give direct feedback to our funding partners and federal agencies on how they can serve us better. This was my first PMA meeting, and I cannot overemphasize the importance and value of the week. We received tips on how to be successful in funding applications, heard about their plans for the upcoming year(s), and had a chance to do some very valuable networking.

Data Cleaning

Last year Chara Kingston & Erin Doyle managed to clean 70,798 records from 18 partner sites. I am continuing this initiative and have completed another 10,053 records from four sites. This brings the grand total to 80,851! In order to help achieve our goal of making collections more accessible to the public, I am uploading the cleaned records to Artefacts Canada, provided the objects are owned by the museum. CHIN is very excited at the prospect of seeing over 200,000 records from Nova Scotia come online this year. I have heard from some sites about when the best time would be for me to undertake the cleaning of their database, but would love to hear from more of you so that we can keep this on schedule. This is also important because for the remainder of Louanne’s contract she will be assisting with this initiative, so we will be going through records at a faster pace.

Database Upgrades

Richard is currently working on upgrading the three databases to make them more user-friendly. The Cemetery Database upgrades have been completed and are being tested by Sheryl in Digby, and Nan in Truro to make sure there aren’t any bugs. The Volunteer/Membership Database has not really been upgraded, but a small problem has been fixed and should now work better for everyone.

The biggest changes are with the Collections Database. I have seen the preliminary changes and am very excited about them. You will be able to add several pictures of each artifact, and work in either an Artifact or Archival view. The page setup will be much the same, but there will be a couple additional pages for condition reporting and loans. We are not trying to give you more work by adding features, but to make the database cover more of your collection needs.

Made in NS – Phase II

The Made in NS collections enrichment project (phase II) is completed, and are working on uploading the promised 450 enriched records with images to CHIN. Louanne, Melanie, and Daniel have been working very hard on this over the past months, and have enriched over 680 records from 22 sites. A big thank you and congratulations goes out to everyone who participated. We are really excited about increasing your profile and sharing your collection with the rest of the world.

IMPORTANT UPLOADING CHANGE – With CHIN’s change in servers, the procedure for uploading images has changed. While the major change has been reflected in the uploading manual and emailed to sites, they have just informed me of one more minor change that will take effect this afternoon (March 6, 2008). When using WinSCP, you are required to enter a host name, which until now has been or The new host name will be an IP address, This information should be changed in your document entitled Creating Digitized Images and Uploading to Artefacts Canada. You do not have to re-upload anything that you have already contributed to Artefacts Canada.

The reason for the change is to increase security for contributing members. If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me.

Manufacturer’s Database

We are nearing the end of the manufacturer’s database project, and Jennifer, Melanie & Tara have added information from Cape Breton, Digby, Hants and Yarmouth counties, as well as some records from the NS Museum of Industry. We still have a binder from Dartmouth and more MOI records to add. We hope that by the end of March there will be over 8000 entries in this database from across the province. After meeting with CHIN, I am writing up a draft design & plan for integrating the database into their server and connecting it with Artefacts Canada. This will be included in the final report. They are very excited about the idea and hope it can be implemented within the next year or two.

CCI Workshop

We recently applied to CCI for a workshop. We just received word that they will be coming in September to deliver “Preservation Management for Seasonal Museums”. We need a host organization, preferably somewhere centralized as this will be the only workshop in the province. If anyone is interested in hosting (and also attending) please let me know so that I can confirm the location of the workshop with CCI. It will be held on September 26th, 2008.

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