Friday, May 29, 2009

SDI Interim Report

PASSAGE PROJECT – Increasing Capacity and Online Profiles
Interim Report March 31, 2009


The Passage Project sought funding to increase the capacity and online profile of 53 community museums through uploading information to Artefacts Canada. Funding was also sought to incorporate three new museums into the group.

Funding Deliverables:
• 100,000 clean and unclean basic records uploaded to Artefacts Canada
• review and clean collections databases for 15 sites, proofreading and reviewing information and providing customized report on improving methodology
• 500 new and updated enriched records with images uploaded to Artefacts Canada
• 50 site visits conducted by Passage Project staff, providing on-site one-on-one consultation with museum staff & volunteers
• Regular contact and communication with member institutions
• Increased communication and cooperation with other organizations
• Improved management practices tracking members’ capacity
• Increased visitation and enquiries, monitoring success of uploading information


The primary objective of uploading information to Artefacts Canada is to increase Passage partners’ online profiles, which will in turn increase their online and on-site visitation numbers and enquiries. This not only increases the level of understanding of their current audience, but reaches out to new visitors, increasing Nova Scotia’s heritage profile as a whole.
To date, 63,656 records have been uploaded, representing 64% of the funding obligation.

The Data Cleaning work provides sites with visible improvements to their databases, along with a report that helps them maintain this consistency in the future, regardless of changes in staff or other issues. Furthermore, it prepares records for uploading to Artefacts Canada so that sites do not have to worry about having unprofessional information made available to the public.
To date, six sites have received the data cleaning service, representing 40% of the funding obligation.

Passage has continued in its partnership with the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) in order to increase the number of enriched records on Artefacts Canada and the Virtual Museum of Canada. Focusing on furniture that was either made in Nova Scotia or holds special significance for the partner museum, objects were photographed, researched, and uploaded to Artefacts Canada.
To date, 300 records were enriched, representing 60% of the funding obligation.

During the winter months very little travel has taken place due to the weather. That said, there were several special events and emergency support visits that have been able to take place.
To date, 10 of the 50 site visits have been conducted, representing 20% of the funding obligation.

In February Karin attended the Provincial Museum Association meetings hosted by CHIN and the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) in Ottawa. This is the fifth year that Passage staff have been invited to attend this invaluable event. A follow-up report was drafted and sent out to partner sites (see attached). This gave Karin an opportunity to communicate face to face with CHIN, our primary federal funder, and thereby determine of how best to proceed with that partnership. This information will be reviewed by the Passage Steering Committee at the April meeting in order to meet CHIN’s May deadline for applications for collections development projects.

In March Karin attended the annual CMA conference in Toronto, for which a follow-up report will be written and sent out to the members, similar to the PMA follow-up report. An overview of the sessions will be provided to members so that they can benefit from the event even though they were unable to attend.

Richard Cloutier has been making some minor adjustments to the collections database in order to allow multiple users/computers to access and update the database at the same time. Until now, the program had to be kept as a master copy on one computer, which for some partners was limiting access and slowing the rate of work. The update will be ready shortly, and will be installed during the spring and summer site visits to partners.


In the coming months, Karin will be attending the ANSM annual conference in Dartmouth and regional group meetings around the province. She will then begin conducting site visits to deliver the database upgrades and facilitate the uploading of the remaining collections databases.

Passage staff and the Steering Committee are in regular communication with members through phone, email, and the Passage blog ( The blog has become an integral part of the Passage communication plan, providing members with a way to access past and present updates, notices, and messages from the Steering Committee. It also allows members to comment on the postings and answer questions that help the Steering Committee determine the future direction of Passage. Full updates are posted at once a month, with additional information being posted as required.

Overall, the Passage Project work plan is on track and the Steering Committee and staff are confident that the funding deliverables will be met by the end of the project year.
The following 55 sites, organized by region, are the current members of Passage. 53 are returning Passage Partners for the 2008/09 year. Two new sites, the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and Charles MacDonald Concrete House, have just signed contracts to join the group.

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