Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 2008 Update

Another whirlwind month, hard to believe it's over. As you've already seen, I spent a few days in Ontario for a great conference, but the rest of the time I've either been in the office or doing site visits.

Steering Committee
Since Virginia MacIsaac had to step down from the committee we have been without a Cape Breton representative. After consulting with some of the members and committee, I am working on finding a replacement. Several people came highly recommended, and hopefully one of them will be able to fill the position.
The group meets quarterly to ensure that Passage is on the right track and meeting the members’ needs. If you would like to learn more about the committee’s role or are interested in taking part, please contact Karin.

Data Cleaning & Uploading
Although it was once again a very busy month I managed to clean 5635 records from two sites, bringing the grand total of cleaned records to 88,731. This is a slow process so please bear with me as I work my way through the sites. Remember that the province is expecting us to have approximately 200,000 records online by November, so if you had your database cleaned by Chara or Erin last year, please upload them as soon as possible. If you need help with the process or want your summer staff to work on this, just drop me a line and I can walk you/them through the process.

Site Visits
On the road again, Just can't wait to get on the road again...
With the database upgrades completed and museums opening for the season, that means that I get to start making road trips. My goal is to visit two sites a week, so please let me know when you want your visit.
What takes place during a visit? First and foremost I will be installing and reviewing the database upgrades. Once this is completed, we can move on to the data cleaning & uploading process. We can talk about any questions, comments, or concerns that you may have, and I will make sure that these are brought to the Steering Committee's attention if need be. This is a great time for your summer students to get a crash course in museum work, but remember that there has to be permanent staff member or volunteer there to receive the training.

Made in NS – Phase III
The CHIN application was submitted on May 15th for another round of enrichment work. This time we are going to focus on the Chenhall category of Furnishings, which includes Bedding, Furniture, Household Accessories, etc. This was chosen because there is a wealth of information available on NS furniture and manufacturers (partially through the new Manufacturer’s database), and it is a category of great interest to the general public.

I have been working with CHIN on the details of our contract, and we are planning on a start date of July 11th. Because of the success of the past two years' enrichment projects, CHIN has asked that each participating site contribute a minimum of 20 records instead of the usual 10. In order to receive funding we also promised to focus our attentions on those sites who have not been able to participate in years past. The coordinator and/or Young Canada Works interns will be doing site visits and day-long sessions with these museums in order to assist them with the work. By doing this over the summer we will also be able to take advantage of the summer staff, and hopefully encourage & interest them enough to continue with the work on their own. Other Passage sites are of course encouraged to participate again.

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