Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July 2008 Update

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee held its quarterly meeting on Thursday, July 24th. Peyton Chisholm gave us an update on the Federation’s renewal process and was pleased to announce that the name change has finally passed. This means that Passage is now part of the Association of Nova Scotia Museums!
In business related news, our finances are in good shape, old projects are squared up and contracts have been received for the new Made in NS work.

Made in Nova Scotia – Phase III

As you have all seen in the earlier email (and the blog staff photo) about the Made in NS project, we have a few new staff around to help with this year’s Made in NS initiative. Lynn MacEachern comes to us from Glace Bay as project coordinator, and has a background in teaching, museum studies, and history/political science. Our new research assistants are Jennifer Bawden & Peter Dubee. Jen comes from a science & museum studies background, and Peter is a photographer. Given their range of interests and experiences, we are confident that we have a very strong team to help with the enrichment process this year. In order to secure the funding, we promised to conduct site visits to museums who have yet to upload information to Artefacts Canada, providing on-site assistance with the process.

For those who have uploaded in the past, we ask that you follow the standard procedure of printing the record and faxing or mailing them to the office. We are trying to stretch the travel budget so that the team can spend a day with as many sites as possible, but we can’t yet say how many museums will get this extra assistance.

Not sure what to pick for this year’s showcase? I suggest taking a tiered approach in your selection process.
1st choice – Furnishings that were made in Nova Scotia
2nd choice – other objects that were made in Nova Scotia
3rd choice – objects that tell a great story about life in Nova Scotia

Due to our past success with this work, CHIN has upped the ante and asked that each participating site submit 20 records instead of the usual 10. This may seem like a lot, but with summer staff still around, it shouldn’t be too hard to find 20 items to upload.

Data Cleaning

While the site visits have slowed down the data cleaning, I am still making my way through it. This month I cleaned 5324 records from the Cape Sable Historical Society and Queens County Museum. We’ve now cleaned over 99,000 records from 31 sites. CHIN was warned in February that we would be sending up thousands of records at once, which they got very excited about. This does mean that their processing period takes a bit longer, but things still seem to get sorted out within a matter of days.

Part of Lynn’s job after she finishes the site visits will be to do data cleaning, and so the data cleaning process will be moving along much faster by the fall. And hopefully we will have a lot of pictures to go with the text once her Made in NS site visits are completed.

Remember that the province is expecting everything to be online by November, so as we clean, we are uploading entire databases. If you need to clear this with your board, now is the time to do it. It is much faster for us to upload everything behind the scenes than for you to go through and check each record.

Summer Staff Challenge

As I’ve mentioned in the past, a summer staff challenge has been issued this year as a little healthy competition. Details can be found at the bottom of the blog page. The deadline for submitting entries in the challenge will be August 31st.