Monday, April 20, 2009

Passage Annual Report for ANSM Annual General Meeting

Passage Project

Administered & Managed by the Wolfville Historical Society in 2009

Annual Report of the Passage Steering Committee for 2008/2009.

Given to the ANSM Annual General Meeting. Dartmouth, 24 April 2009.

This was a tumultuous year for the Steering Committee and staff. However that did not interfere with our completion (indeed the exceeding) of the contractual obligations to the funders nor to the delivery of services to you the partners, of whom this year there were 53 participating. In fact it was a good year, measured by the output. Results are shown below, the first number being where we were in April of 2008, and the second being where we are now:

  1. Accession records digitized: (not documented) - 163,212
  2. Records uploaded to Artefacts Canada: 12,000 - 63,656
  3. Sites for whom records cleaned: 23 - 42
  4. Records cleaned: 85,000 - 120,000

We can, in general, say that site confidence in use of the database is improving and with it site capability. But we also know and can see that many sites are "underpowered" and unable to devote as much time to the project as they ideally would like, such is the pressure on the few to do all the other work that also must be done. Nevertheless, in looking at the records remaining in the database that require "cleaning" and our staff capacity at the moment, we see the potential over the next 3 months of being able to double the number of records uploaded. You should be as satisfied with the current situation as is the Steering Committee. We believe our funders will also be pleased.

The project budgets include for the attendance of the Collections Coordinator to conferences, in the interests of professional development and for the equally important opportunities for networking. In May 2008 Karin attended the first ever Canadian Technology in the Arts Conference; and this year attended the Provincial Museums Association Meetings and the Canadian Museum Association Conference. Her conscientious meeting reports have been sent to you on the Passage Blog.

At the July Steering Committee meeting, a draft of an SDI application was agreed by the Steering Committee (Passage partners and representatives from ANSM and SDI present) and quickly sent on to ANSM for signature and submission. Two days before the 31 August deadline, the Board said they would not sign the application. You all know the outcome of that and in the end there were 41of the partners who by e-m endorsed the action taken by the Committee (we have since by word of mouth received endorsement from those who did not respond previously because they did not intercept the request in time to reply). Wolfville Historical Society, officially took over administration & management of the project from ANSM on 1 December 2008. SDI funds were advanced very soon after.

At the October meeting of the Steering Committee, when it was clear that the project was on course for the year, the chairperson was able to effect her resignation which she had indicated to the Committee earlier in the year that she wished to do. Derek Watts was elected as the new chairperson by the partners’ representatives. The first resolve of the Committee was to find common ground with the ANSM board over the unhappy, but apparently necessary, parting of the ways. In February 2009, that agreement was reached and accepted by the ANSM Board and by the Steering Committee. Most Passage partners endorsed it; a few indicated ambivalence but nevertheless acknowledged that the Committee was acting in their best interest. All of you should be aware of the contents of the agreement, the Board having communicated it on the web site and the Committee by e-mail and the Passage Blog. I am pleased to say that the agreement is working and that a request for release of Support funds for the continued employment of Lynn MacEachern was unanimously approved by the new Collections Management Advisory Committee (CMAC) and by the Board at their most recent meeting. And that first meeting of the CMAC, (Bob Grantham (chair), Gordon Hammond (Chair, ANSM ex officio) PSC members Derek Watts and Jim McLean, Valerie Lenethan (NS Museum), Allison McGee (absent)) was extremely positive. As PSC chair, well aware of the Passage partner's concerns, I was very encouraged.

In closing I wish to thank the members of the Steering Committee who this year have been Betty Ann Aaboe Milligan (chair April -October), Barb Thompson (Apr -June) Peyton Chisholm (July - Oct), Robin Cushnie (Apr - Sept),and currently to Dayle Crouse, Linda Rafuse, Gail McGee and Jim McLean Thanks also to Jennifer Bawden and Peter Dubee, Research Assistants last summer. Finally our tremendous appreciation of Lynn MacEachern, and most particularly of Karin Kierstead, Collections Coordinator, for their steadfast and unstinting attention to the work of the project and for their intelligent initiatives for project enhancement at every turn.

Respectfully submitted,

Derek Watts, Chair, Passage Steering Committee.

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