Monday, April 30, 2012

April 2012 Update

Whirl-i-gig Visit
Peggy's Cove
We had some visitors from the USA at the beginning of the month, and spent two intensive days talking about databases and websites. Much cake and chocolate was eaten, and for a special treat we took our guests out to Peggy's Cove so they could get a sense of place. We figured that might help with the website design process. I am very pleased to say that we worked our way through an impressive amount of stuff and everyone is feeling right on track for our September launch.

13 people participated in the Museums 101 workshop in Liverpool. We had a great two days with lots of learning and conversation. I was especially pleased with the number of "newbies"; volunteers and staff members who had never received museological training, let alone ANSM training. This is encouraging because it means the professional bar is being raised across the province, regardless of the museums' size or structure. We had federal and provincial government sites represented, as well as community museums of all shapes. And while they may have started the workshop thinking their challenges and situations were totally unique, they definitely ended it realizing we're all in the same boat and have strength in numbers.

Next up is Collections Management at Whitney Pier Historical Museum in Sydney on May 10-11th. The workshop is full and has a waiting list, something to keep in mind for future workshops - they fill up fast!

Regional Meetings
Sherry Griffin
ANSM Board Member & Director of
Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum
Anita and I split up so we could go to both the Cape Breton and Southwest regional meetings, which unfortunately fell on the same day. So I got to go to the lovely Ross Farm Museum. There was a great turnout, and lots of discussion about current issues. We also enjoyed a delicious lunch of beef & barley soup, with all of the ingredients coming from the farm. Yum!
If you have not connected with your regional group, I strongly encourage you to do so. These meetings become little think tanks; where people figure out how to work together, prioritize and act on advocacy issues, share successes and challenges, and generally support eachother.

Database Renewal - Website Development
As I mentioned last month, old records are being cleaned up which means the database numbers are going up and down. This means that our overall tally isn't climbing very quickly, but it is great to see people updating the information and preparing for our website launch. Work continues on the design of the site, and this afternoon Anita and I sat down to contemplate logo options (very exciting!). The merging of all the databases is still plugging away, and we now have over 100,000 objects and 30,000 images from 41 sites. Let me tell you, searching across 41 collections from across the province is very cool!
So, the grand totals for this month? 173,212 records and 48,648 images. That's another 87 records and 468 images.
Southwest: 85,734 artifacts, 20,795 images
Central: 35,387 artifacts, 11,266 images
Northeast: 29,717 artifacts, 12,991 images
Cape Breton: 22,374 artifacts, 3,596 images

Congrats to the Southwest region for adding the most records and images!

Song Lyrics
Moose River Gold Mines Museum
Your image of the month is from the Moose River Gold Mines Museum. I know I've mentioned scanning 2-dimensional items before, but I am still seeing a lot of jpeg photos with scales instead of scanned tiff files. Scanning is far easier and creates a better product for 2-dimensional stuff, so please please please keep this in mind. If you are looking for summer student tasks, this is a good one. Sit them down with a box of photos, documents, or other 2-d stuff, tell them the image has to be above 1200x1200 pixels (scanning at 600dpi is a good rule of thumb), and get them to set up a folder where they can save the images (renamed by accession number of course). I don't want to find any idle summer students during my visits this year (that was said in my mom voice).

CMA Conference
The other major event of the month was a trip to Gatineau for the national conference. I know that very few of our members get to attend the CMA conferences, so always take notes and try to share as much info as possible. So in case you missed them, here are the links to my 4-part series on the conference:
CMA Conference Part 1
CMA Conference Part 2
CMA Conference Part 3
CMA Conference Part 4


Pierre Bois said...

Impressive record and object digitization numbers! I especially like the regional approach. Keep up the good work!

Pierre (from OMA)

P.S. looking forward to seeing the artefacts online next fall and hopefully in person next spring :-)

Karin said...

Thanks Pierre! It's been a lot of work over many years, and is very exciting to see things coming together.
Come visit any time :)