Friday, November 29, 2013

November 2013 Update

Is it just me or did Movember just start? And yet suddenly we're at its close. Goodbye moustaches. It's been fun seeing you around and I can't wait to hear how much money was raised for this great cause.

Collections Database Info
Last month I was really impressed by how much database review we did, but this month was even better. This month we went through and updated 16,633 records from 6 museums. We are now 5000 records ahead of schedule, and only have 2 museums left to do this year. We're feeling pretty great about this, and can't wait to cross the last two off our list. Now that we've done this work, it's really REALLY important for museum staff and volunteers to keep up the high quality. Check out my other blog posts that outline various tips and be sure to share this with all your friends.
I think people are starting to settle into winter holiday mode since data entry dropped a lot from last month. This month 303 new records and 685 images were added across the province and to, giving us totals of 196,867 records and 81,353 images. And we now have 22,749 georeferences tagged.
Regionally, this looks like:
Southwest - 101,615 artifacts, 36,556 images
Central - 39,580 artifacts, 16,465 images
Northeast - 29,532 artifacts, 18,996 images
Cape Breton - 26,140 artifacts, 9,336 images

Congrats to the Central region for adding the most records again this month, and to the Southwest
region for adding the most images!

Shaving Mug
Our image of the month is in honour of Movember and the many men that will be shaving off their moustaches on Sunday. Mugs can be tricky to photograph since you want to do it at an angle that will show both the top and side. This mug is angled very well. We can see the decoration on the side, the details of the handle, and the all-important divider inside the cup. How could the image be improved? I would have used a dark background fabric so the mug wouldn't look so washed out, and I would have moved the scale a bit closer to the edge of the mug. As a final touch, I'd crop excess space so that the mug is perfectly centred and the sole focus of the photo.

Manufacturers Database Project
Caryn finished up her technical guide which includes instructions on how to use the database and add or update information, and we have established a great group of experts who will review new info before it goes into the system. The 7000+ manufacturers have been reconciled with our fancy classification system that Chris developed, which means it will be very easy for researchers to browse through mills or shipyards or coopers or whatever. We've just started linking collections to manufacturers which is proving to be an interesting process since we've run into a few companies or people who aren't listed in the system yet. So there's a lot of back and forth and running around to sort it all out. But we're getting there, and are really excited to see things continuing to shape up.

Random Goings-On
It felt like this month had more meetings and discussions than usual. We started off with an ANSM marketing workshop in Truro. Then I was off to the Black Cultural Centre for a site visit as they recently joined the Advisory Service. It's always interesting when a new site comes on board; lots to learn about eachother and figure out how ANSM can help the museum move forward.
In keeping with tradition, I wrote a Remembrance Day blog post with a sort of personal twist. You can read that here.
I also wrote a little book review from our reference library on an anthology about the evolution of museology, titled "Reinventing the Museum". I really enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it. You can read my review here.
I had two education committee meetings this month - one with our Education & Training Task Force and the other with the CNSA's Education Committee. It's really great (and super important) to collaborate with our sister organization on educational offerings. It's kinda nice to not have workshops or conferences scheduled on the same days.
One of the more interesting discussions of the month was an expert panel teleconference call to discuss CHIN. Just as CMAP & SDI are being reviewed at the provincial level, the federal government regularly reviews its departmental programs. So here's hoping that us "experts" gave good enough feedback to the evaluators to result in some positive changes.
One of the more exciting things that is happening in the Halifax area is that a new social group has started up that fits in with the "Drinking about Museums" phenomenon. This is basically when a bunch of museum workers go out to a pub together to talk shop. We all know how easy it is to just keep our heads down and focus on our own work, so it's nice to see something starting up that will cultivate some more cross-pollination and awareness of eachother's work.
And finally, this morning we ended the month with a Central Region Heritage Group meeting. I stuck to the office, but Caryn and Anita went and just informed me that it was a really great meeting.

Ok, that's all for now. There's one more meeting this afternoon and then that's it for this month. Happy weekend everyone!

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