Friday, September 28, 2012

September 2012 Update

Free Workshops
The Council of Nova Scotia Archives, one of our sister organizations that we share many members with, has received funding to deliver 6 grant-writing workshops across the province. And they're free to attend! They will be using the Provincial Archival Development Program as their case study, but the basic principles you'll learn will apply to any funding program. There are only 20 spots available at each workshop, and organizations are encouraged to send more than one person so these could fill up very quickly. Below is a list of dates & locations: 

October 12 - Wolfville
October 17 - Amherst

November 2 - Antigonish
November 9 - Yarmouth
November 23 - Dartmouth
November 30 - Baddeck

Click here for more details and to rsvp.

bus tour fun!
ANSM ReGeneration Conference
I usually, okay always, do a conference blog post. Unfortunately this year I was running around so much that I didn't get to hear most of the sessions. I thought about trying to share a very selected snapshot of things I did see/hear, but I don't think that would be a very accurate depiction of the event. What I can share is that we had 90 delegates in attendance, and that the reviews were very positive. There were a number of people who had never attended our conference before, and so it was great to see some new faces. It was also great to reconnect with people we don't often get to see. There was a bus tour of local heritage sites and I've heard good things about the sessions. The NovaMuse launch went well. We laughed, we cried, we hugged...we had people on the edges of their seats and very impressed.

Database & NovaMuse Info

Speaking of NovaMuse, now that it is live and sites are closing down for the winter it looks like people are taking a well-deserved break from the frantic data entry, photography, scanning, and general updating of information that went on over the summer. But there are of course those stalwart institutions who are plugging away no matter what the day or time. So over the course of the month, another 335 records and 1,488 images were added, giving us new grand totals of 188,558 records and 68,601 images. Of these, 141,744 records and 56,631 images are available on NovaMuse. Not bad. We're seeing referrals come in from contributing museums' websites, which is a great new service for you to offer your audience. And now that the daily update is running, changes you make will appear on NovaMuse within 24 hours. 

And now for your regional standings:
Southwest: 97,941 artifacts, 30,925 images
Central: 35,262 artifacts, 13,000 images
Northeast: 30,534 artifacts, 17,322 images
Cape Breton: 24,821 artifacts, 7,354 images

Congrats to the Southwest region for entering the most records and images this month!
Captain's Uniform
Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum

Guess what? The image of the month is not 2-dimensional! This time we're looking at clothing. After spending the summer exploring 13 museums' textile collections for Hope's internship work, we have lots of great photos to share. This one is an Air Atlantic Captain's jacket, circa 1985. There are a few important things to note about it. 1 - this is the primary image, the overall view. Additional photos were taken of the back and various details such as the buttons, insignia and cuffs. 2 - A mannequin was used to ensure the uniform was "sitting" in its natural position, ie we're pretending someone is wearing it. 3 - the uniform is slightly angled so we can see a bit of more depth and detail than you would get in a straight-on view. And 4 - the jacket was photographed on a light backdrop and neatly cropped so it is the sole focus.
Click here to download Hope's photography guide from the ANSM website.

For anyone who missed the website launch, it was a pretty fun time. Rather than risk an internet malfunction I did up a little video presentation on the site. Sure it's lacking in the official speeches made by Derek (ANSM President), Marcel McKeough (Executive Director of the Culture Division of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage), and Anita (ANSM Managing Director), and also my ramblings as the video showed off our lovely website, but I'm sure you get the idea. Some day when I get my act together I'll add in some captions so you can really get a sense of the launch.
There's a ton of cool stuff on NovaMuse, and it's well worth visiting again and again. 

What's Next?
A number of people have asked us "what's next?", now that we've finished the Database Renewal Project. In thinking about the past two years, I'm not sure how everything didn't completely fall apart. It's been an insane work pace, first with migrating 51 databases and retraining users, and then with website development. Throw in a couple of internships, workshop development & delivery, conferences, and all the normal site visits & support work...I don't think anyone really understands how crazy it's been. We do have plans for the next couple of years, but first it's time to take things a little bit slower. So I'm returning to my old to do list and catching up on things that were set aside as "low priority". There are a few resources to add to the website, NovaMuse marketing to do, database analysis and updates to figure out, and a whole lot of desk/office cleaning and organizing to do.
 The Information Management & Access Committee will be meeting in November to figure some stuff out, after which things should become much more clear. So stay tuned for updates!

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