Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014 Update

ANSM Workshops
It's that time of year again! We've opened registration for our Spring workshops. The CCI workshop on storage reorganization filled up super fast, but there are still a few spots available in Museums 101. Why should you care about an intro to museums workshop? Because it's a great way to initiate new volunteers, staff, and board members. And who doesn't want to hang out with me for two days? There's lots of info on our website about it, but it will be held at the Port Hastings Museum & Archives on April 24-25th. And yes, there will be cake.

IMAC Meeting
Your illustrious peers gathered in Halifax to talk shop. It was a long meeting with a very full agenda - database improvements, disaster planning, manufacturers database work, marketing...the list goes on and on. We're updating the committee terms of reference and had a big long discussion about how the advisory service meets the needs of small institutions with extremely limited resources. We also welcomed a new committee member - Laken Delorey of the Port Hastings Museum & Archives. She's our new Cape Breton regional rep and we're really excited to have her on board.

NovaMuse & Social Media
We're really happy to announce the launch of two new social media offerings. is now on Pinterest and Twitter. We're really excited about this for a few reasons. First and foremost we just love to get the word out about NovaMuse and how so many great museums are working together to make collections more accessible. Our Facebook page and Twitter feed will be very similar, and this year we'll be profiling some of the weird and impressive stuff that we encounter as we go through databases. Pinterest is where we're having a bit more fun though. We've already put up some rather well-loved stuffed animals, and have our favourite Olympic items ready to help cheer on Team Canada. So check us out and tell your friends.

12 Enrichment Sites
Fleming College Assignment
I mentioned in my December update that we've established a healthy partnership with Fleming College, enabling their students to get some real world database experience. This month we kicked off the same research assignment, but the students will be looking at 350 artifacts from 12 sites across the province. That's the good news. The bad news is that I had a hard time finding sites to work with this year. This wasn't because the museums weren't willing, but because I need to make sure the chosen records cover a variety of artifact types and have decent images attached. This is yet another reason why high-quality digitization needs to be a priority for your institution. Without it, you are missing out on opportunities for extra assistance.

Collections Database Info
We may only be at the end of January, but we've made a lot of progress in the Southwest region's databases already. We're continuing with the update work - Nomenclature 3.0, dating & mapping of records. Our goal was to get through 8,000 records, but I'm really happy to say that we surpassed a lot. We processed 23,492 records from 4 museums. While we'd love to take credit for it all, we actually had some help for two weeks from a fantastic volunteer while she was between work contracts. One of our big clean-up issues this year is the 20,000+ records listed as "unclassifiable". I for one disagree with this list and am hoping to get it down into the hundreds by the end of the year.
So, we ended 2013 with 197,017 artifacts and 81,951 images in the databases. January was a fairly quiet month as we expected it to be, but another 185 records and 641 images were entered which gives us a grand total of 197,202 artifacts and 82,592 images. That's not a bad way to start the year.

Here's the regional tally:
Southwest - 101,686 artifacts, 36,864 images
Central - 39,765 artifacts, 17,119 images
Northeast - 29,564 artifacts, 19,156 images
Cape Breton - 26,188 artifacts, 9,453 images

Congrats again to the Central Region for adding the most records and images this month!

Your image of the month is one of many WWI artifacts we'll be seeing this year - an RCAMC uniform. As you can tell, this is a lovely image that is crisp, clear, and has good colouring. It is also only one of 10 images of this uniform. The photographer took side shots, a back view, and detail shots of the buttons and shoulders. But doesn't this look better than seeing something on a hanger? You can almost picture her walking around. So this year as you digitize, don't forget to take your time, and be both patient and thorough. Let's make those collections come to life through good photography.

Manufacturers' Database
Chris has been compiling lists of companies mentioned in collections databases that we don't have included in the manufacturers' database. He's emailing museums to see if they know anything else about this organizations and would really like some local help to answer questions. Yes, this means we've been actively linking manufacturers to artifacts. So far we've got 1104 records linked to 162 manufacturers. These include objects made by a person or company, photos of factories, mills, etc., and other odds and ends like receipts and company letterhead. It's really satisfying to see this work coming together. We know this is one of those projects that will be never ending, but we've come a long way baby!

No comments: