Monday, October 3, 2011

September 2011 Update

Database Renewal Project - Website Development
The shift in focus has taken place, and we are now all about websites.  Very few similar websites exist - most collections websites have records from only one organization.  This month we identified our top 4 comparable websites (eHive, Europeana, Gathering the Jewels, Virtual Museum of Canada) and Chris developed a website review questionnaire to determine what we like about these sites.  The Information Management & Access Committee is putting in a lot of work in this respect, and we've recruited a few friends and former ANSM staff members to help out as well.  Thanks to all!

By the Numbers
Wallace & Area Museum
Apparently I lied last month when I said we had almost 180,000 records.  That number should have been 170,000 records (sorry for the typo).  In any event, it is still a very impressive number and after this month's work we have crossed the threshold and are sitting pretty at 170,264 objects.  And the number of images?  37,685!  That means we have 22% of our collections photographed or scanned.  To put this into perspective, the British Museum shares its collection online and 30% of these items have images attached.  Anyone feel like chasing the British Museum?  I know I do!

Now for the regional breakdown:
Southwest - 83,465 artifacts, 16,275 images
Central - 34,165 artifacts, 6,754 images
Northeast - 30,445 artifacts, 12,008 images
Cape Breton - 21,889 artifacts, 2,648 images

Congrats to the Southwest region for adding the most artifact records, and to the Northeast region for adding the most images.  It's great to see progress!

Meetings and Site Visits and Events...Oh My!
Chris and I made 8 more site visits in September.  From Moose River to Springhill, Middleton to Pugwash, we definitely made the rounds.  Later this fall we will be attending the various regional meetings, so while our road trips are becoming fewer and further between, we haven't yet stopped for the winter.

ANSM's Education & Training Taskforce, aka ETT, met to talk about upcoming workshops.  We have 3 scheduled for the fall: Museums & Community, Management & Governance, and CCI's Artifacts in Aboriginal Cultural Centres.  If you've been procrastinating about sending in your workshop registration, keep in mind that the first workshop filled up well before the registration deadline, so be sure to register early.
Africville Church Museum

I also attended a very special event in Halifax - the opening of the Africville Church Museum.  After such a wet summer, the building may not have been entirely finished, but what a powerful event. All levels of government were present, and members of the Africville community shared their memories and the significance of the renaming of Seaview Park and the establishment of the museum.  I won't even try to convey the emotion and meaning of the event because I could never do it justice.

QR Code Usage Stats
Well folks, I think it's time to declare the QR Codes a bit of a rural dud.  I've spoken with a number of participating museums and they say while visitor stats are steady, September has brought an older crowd that isn't inclined to cell phone use, let alone smartphone use.  Numbers have also dropped in the city, but the codes are still being used.  One thing we're hearing from tourists is they are worried about roaming charges.  We knew this would be the case, and are partnering with CHIN to develop a wifi security guide for museums to deal with the issue.

1 comment:

J Goreham-Penney said...

I would've loved to check out the Africville Church Museum opening event, sounds like it was fantastic. Sounds like ANSM had a great month!