Friday, August 31, 2012

August 2012 Update

Summer Wrap-Up
Conference time!
I am officially off the road, earlier than usual. It's strange to be in the office again, but I'm really glad to be able to focus my attention on NovaMuse. It was a crazy summer. I was very impressed with a lot of museums. They have come such a long way since last year! Renovations, new exhibits, tons of progress with database records and images...very impressive! But there were also a few disappointments, particularly in the summer staffing area. Not because of the students who were hired, but because there was clearly a lack of training and supervisory support at a number of museums. This is exactly why ANSM's conference is on Engaging Youth, and includes a pre-conference workshop on human resources. This is absolutely crucial information. So if you haven't already registered, please do so. We'll also be launching NovaMuse and would love to have at least one representative from each of the contributing sites there to help us celebrate.

Hope finished up her internship with us in mid-August, and wrote a final blog post that includes her thoughts on and statistics for the textile project. She was our first summer intern and second Fleming College intern, and I have to say that we're very pleased with how things played out. We have lots of ideas for future internship projects, so hopefully this will become a regular part of ANSM life.

Database & Website Info
I know that I've really pushed everyone to do a lot of work to prepare for NovaMuse. I hope that I didn't seem too harsh; I am so proud of the way everyone has responded to my challenge.  This month we saw another 2,487 records and 7,413 images added, giving us a grand total of 188,222 records and 67,113 images. So much progress has been made, I thought it would be fun to look at our tally from August 2011 to put it all into perspective. Last August we had 172,238 artifacts and 36,751 images. It's almost unbelievable. In one year 16,000 records and 31,000 images were added. I'm speechless.

Regionally, this is how things stand:
Southwest: 97,744 artifacts, 29,994 images
Central: 35,242 artifacts, 12,752 images
Northeast: 30,465 artifacts, 17,235 images
Cape Breton: 24,771 artifacts, 7,132 images

Congrats to Cape Breton for entering the most records this month, and to the Southwest region for adding the most images!

As I monitor the import of data into the website, I am adjusting records that are being blocked by our quality control filter. So if I see a sentence in the object name field, I login and fix it. Or if someone put the object name in quotation marks, I login and remove them. Or if I see that the wrong category has been assigned to an item, I login and adjust it. So if you see CollectiveAccess Administrator pop up in your feed as having edited records, don't worry. It's just me. I won't be able to fix everything before the website goes live, but if I see a problem, I will do my best fix it. We are still working on your new dashboard feature that will let you see which objects have been blocked, and I will be sure to let you know as soon as it is ready.
I've had a few people ask me how to get a list of what is set to be publicly accessible. Go to Find - Objects. Click on the Browse tab on your left, and then select Access Statuses. Then you can choose which list you want - records accessible to the public, records not accessible to the public, or restricted access records. So if you want to scroll through inaccessible records and change their setting, click on the "not accessible" option and then you can work your way through the search results.

NovaMuse search results
Two of these things are not like the others...
Your image of the month actually comes from a few different museums. It also comes from NovaMuse. These are some search results, and as you can see there is a bit of inconsistency here. I know I've said it many times before, but 2-dimensional items like postcards and photographs should be scanned & cropped rather than photographed with the scale. I can hear you all saying "yes Karin, we know!" Aside from the quality issue, take a look at how these results appear. You don't have to be an expert (or notice that I've outlined the offending images) to see that two of the results don't look like the others. The first has a funny looking scale and is shot from so far away that much of the detail is lost. The second is better, but someone didn't crop the image after it was scanned. They missed the final, simple step. With so many records from so many museums, I know there will be inconsistency in the data, but let's keep this in mind and do our best to adhere to professional standards and practices. We're all in this together and want to make eachother (and NovaMuse) look good.

Well, I guess this is it. Next month you'll be able to check out stats on your own, and see each other's collections, and hopefully hear a bit of feedback about all those artifacts. I'll have to find something else to blog about.

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