Friday, March 1, 2013

February 2013 Update

Canada's History Webinar
Sometimes we forget just how cutting-edge CollectiveAccess and NovaMuse are. Last year I was approached to develop a one-hour webinar on online collections. So this week, rather than take a lunch break (who are we kidding, I never take lunch breaks), I shared a bit of information on putting museum collections online. It was an interesting experience since I've never taught a webinar before, but so far the feedback has been positive. If you've never heard of the Canada's History organization, or want to listen to me chatter away about NovaMuse and what we had to discuss and consider in getting the website up and running, you can watch a recording of the webinar here.

CollectiveAccess Update
New Quality Alert Widget
I'm very excited to announce that we've finally installed the quality control filter widget in CollectiveAccess. This is your "to do list" tool so you can see which records were blocked by NovaMuse and why. The widget shows the accession number, object name, reason for being blocked, and then a date. The date refers to when they were first blocked by NovaMuse, but as we've just added this widget all of your records will have February dates at the earliest. You'll also notice that any loans will show up in your list. Consider this your reminder that it's time to reconcile those old loans. If you want to review why this is important, read my blog post on permanent loans.
To access your list of blocked records, when you log in to your database, click Add Widget and then Quality Filter. This will add the list to your dashboard. Click Done to finalize the addition and then you'll be able to browse through the list, see where the issues are, and click on any records you need to fix. If you have trouble adding the widget just let me know and I can help you figure it out.

Database Info
I'm also happy to say that I've already completed the data upgrade work for 4 sites. The order has skipped around a bit based on when we received renewal contracts, but I've been plugging away and making good progress. I've had a few museums ask me what they can do to help us meet our goals this year. I've previously mentioned that I'm working on dating, mapping, and upgrading to Nomenclature 3.0. Now that I've finished this for the first few sites, I have a much better sense of the state of our information. And this has led me back to our game plan. If you haven't found a rhythm for accomplishing database work in your museum, having a methodical plan can keep things progressing, no matter how limited time and resources are for database work. If you want to refresh your memory on the game plan, it's always available on our website. There are 3 steps - transferring all paper-based info into the system, enriching the info through an inventory and research, and finally tackling all those outstanding loans.
I am also building up some tips and reminders on database/documentation standards, and will publish those here once I get enough to fill a post. So stay tuned for some blunt reminders.

And how much did we add to the databases this month? 581 records and 686 images were added this month, giving us new totals of 191,833 records and 72,857 images.
By region:
Southwest: 98,721 artifacts, 32,404 images
Central: 36,433 artifacts, 13,654 images
Northeast: 30,658 artifacts, 17,782 images
Cape Breton: 26,021 artifacts, 9,017 images

Congratulations goes to Cape Breton for adding the most records and images this month!

Antigonish Heritage Museum
Your image of the month is a great and artistic detail shot of bagpipes. I love this image. You can see all the details of the turned wood, and the colour is so obviously true. As much as we love those crisp and clear overall images of the object, taking the time to capture one or two detail shots can really enhance the record. They can also serve as condition reports - a snapshot of the state of preservation that you can use as you monitor the collection for signs of deterioration.

I think that's about it for now. Only a couple more weeks until daylight savings and then the next week will be Spring. Hard to believe.

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