Monday, April 21, 2008

March 2008 Update

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee now has two new members. Welcome to Robin Cushnie & Dayle Crouse. Robin is the curator and acting director of the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm, and is replacing Terry Eyland as HRM representative. Dayle Crouse is the new director of the Hector Exhibit Centre & McCulloch House Museum in Pictou, and is replacing Darrell Burke. We wish all the best to Terry & Darrell in their new jobs and adventures, and sincerely thank them for their dedication to Passage.

Membership Renewal

For those sites who have yet to pay their $250 renewal fee, this is a friendly reminder that payments are now due. We also need signed contracts, so if you haven’t sent that either, please do so. If you have not sent in your contract or renewal cheque, please send me an email if you plan on continuing with the project. We have a waiting list of sites who would like to join Passage, and so without this confirmation you run the risk of losing your spot.

Data Cleaning

Over the past month, another 3000 have been cleaned, bringing our new total to 83,096!

We have promised the province that we will upload collections information from each Passage member to Artefacts Canada. To facilitate this, the final step to the cleaning process has been to upload any and all records (provided they are not on loan) to Artefacts Canada for the site, increasing their public profile and fulfilling their mandate of public accessibility. If you will need to clear this with your board, please start talking to them about this now so that I can upload the information for you during the cleaning process. For those sites that were cleaned last year by Chara or Erin, or anyone who is waiting for approval to upload from their board, this would be a great task to have your summer students complete. CHIN is really looking forward to this information coming online, as we are the first group to upload such a large quantity of records.

Some people have asked how I determine whose database gets cleaned when. In order to maintain fairness between the sites, a spreadsheet was created outlining Passage delivery over the past couple years, and the order of cleaning is decided through a two-step process. The first factor taken into consideration is the geographic region, ensuring that no more attention is paid to one area than another. The second factor is the amount of support, equipment etc. that a site has recently received.

Made in NS – Phase II

March brought several changes to Passage, including the departure of Louanne Aspillaga, the Made in NS project coordinator. She thoroughly enjoyed her time in our fair province, and while she was happy to return home to her family in Ontario, said she would miss the people and beautiful landscape very much. As a thank-you gift we gave her a Sherman Hines photography book of NS that showed what each season is like in the province.

This year’s Made in NS project was a great success, so we would again like to say thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated. Louanne and her team enriched 700 records from 23 sites. Because of this success, CHIN is already talking about options for future partnerships with us. These will be discussed at the April 4th Steering Committee meeting, so stay tuned for details.

If your records are not yet appearing in the Made in NS virtual exhibit on Artefacts Canada, please send CHIN an email asking for your records to go live in Made in NS.

Manufacturer’s Database

Speaking of successful projects, the Manufacturer’s database project is also at an end. Jennifer, Melanie and Tara completed the data entry of over 7000 paper records from the NS Museum of Industry, the county binders and other additional information that was uncovered. They were also able to do some supplementary research to enhance some of the more skeletal records. In my final report to CHIN, I thanked them on behalf of Passage members for helping us move forward with this resource. They found some spare money for us to do the data entry work, and I felt it was important to acknowledge their assistance.

The draft design & plan for incorporating the database into CHIN’s website and connecting it with Artefacts Canada has been submitted, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will be online within a year or two. Until then, if anyone would like to access this information they can send their requests to me, or stop by the office to browse through the database.

Database Upgrades

Richard is putting the finishing touches on the database upgrades, and I will soon begin this year’s site visits to deliver the upgrades and review the changes. Due to several conferences being held in April, the visits will likely start sometime in May. As I mentioned in last month’s update, I am very pleased with the changes and hope that everyone will find that the improvements meet their needs.

Chenhall books

We still have a couple copies left of the new edition of The Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloguing, affectionately known as Chenhall. These books are used to provide consistency to your collection records in terms of object name, type, category & sub-category. There is a waiting list of sites who would like to upgrade their older version with the new one, but before these are given out, we want to make sure everyone has a copy. If you have not received a copy of Chenhall from Passage, please respond and let me know if you have one of these books, and if so, which edition it is. Here’s the key:

Red Book – 1st edition
Navy Blue Book – 2nd edition
Black Book – 3rd edition

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