Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2015 Update

NovaMuse Milestone
I am very, very excited to report that we have just passed the 200,000 record mark on NovaMuse. Isn't that great? Over 200,000 artifacts from NS museums are being shared with the public online. We are open, we are accessible, and we're making friends all over the world. Literally, we've had visitors from 116 countries. Since this time last year, we've added 21,570 new artifact records, 9,448 new images, georeferenced another 7,789 objects and connected another 811 locally made objects to their creators' profiles. We are doing good work and I hope that all of our contributing museums take a moment to give themselves a huge pat on the back today. We're promoting this work on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, so if you haven't yet connected with us on those platforms, feel free to do so.

Odds and Ends
Ok, so I know I said February was awful, but can I just say how relieved I am that this is the end of March. Blizzards, snow days, cancelled and rescheduled meetings, roof shovelling...craziness!

I mentioned last month that we've been rather busy at ANSM, and that our first two workshops of the year are already full. Here's a tip little insider tip. Being on the waiting list actually gives you a decent chance of getting into a workshop as we almost always see a bit of movement. So if you want to be added to the wait list for either Museums 101 or Interpretation I We have also just opened registration for our Stone Soup Symposium, a two day adventure into the world of theatrical interpretation.

In money news, we've now raised 66% of our fundraising goal for the new Museum Fund. We are excited to see so many museum professionals and institutions step up as the first donors. This sends a really strong message that we not only work in the field but truly believe in its importance. If you haven't yet contributed, please consider doing so.

Our illustrious intern Kevin made some serious headway in First World War photography this month. He's now done 290 objects, which is a great boost to NovaMuse's image count. He's also done some work for us with Pinterest, but we're keeping those new boards secret for now.

This month has been rather quiet with CMAP. I've been reading some more books about museum standards and making more adjustments to the site evaluation and self-assessment documents. We've got most of the pilot sites lined up and are hoping to finalize these arrangements in the next few weeks. I've had a number of calls and emails from people wondering about evaluations this year. That's a government thing, so if you are wondering where you stand in the evaluation schedule, you should get in touch with them directly. We've also been in contact with the American Alliance of Museums and I will be meeting with them in April to chat about their Museum Accreditation Program and learn more about how they run on-site evaluations.
Air Engineer's Certificate
Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum

Fleming Project
Our friends in Ontario have been rather quiet this month as well as they have entered phase 2 of their assignment - picking out 2 artifacts and conducting some additional research. I've already heard from one student that they have uncovered all sorts of info about a print's artist, and can't wait to see all the other fun stuff that gets uncovered and discovered. Once this work is complete the students will be sending me their site reports, which I will forward along to the participating museums. Remember that if you still haven't participated in this project, there is always next year.

2015 NovaMuse Challenge - Year of the Scan
Given our database review work of the past two years, we haven't really issued a distinct challenge, but have instead encouraged our member museums to keep plugging away at those backlogs and database improvements. And we've seen some excellent progress in this respect. But enough about that, let's get down to the challenge shall we? This year, we are asking for a focus on 2-dimensional items that fit into a scanner. Postcards, photographs, letters, certificates, books, etc. For photographs alone we are missing over 18,000 images, so there should be no shortage of items in the collection that need to be scanned. If you encounter a 2-d object that was photographed rather than scanned, now is the time to remedy that mistake.
Need scanning tips? Check out my blog post on 2-dimensional digitization. Even though scanning is a rather quick process, it is very important to take your time and get the best possible image. If that means redoing it a couple times because it was a little crooked or you accidentally cut off a bit of the object, or taking a few minutes to crop out the dead space, then you really need to take that time. Remember that NovaMuse is the a public face of your institution. You want to look your best.
So let's see roll up our sleeves and see if we can crack the 100,000 images mark this year.

Collections Database Info
In addition to the super exciting NovaMuse milestone, I'm glad & relieved that I can finally report that we have finished reviewing all of the collections databases. It was tough, and we were down to the wire, but the last two are all done.We've now mapped 45,563 artifacts and connected 3,185 artifacts to our Made in NS database. This month another 297 artifacts and 884 images were added to the system, giving us new grand totals of 218,961 artifacts and 92,427 images.
Southwest - 119,131 artifacts, 40,551 images
Central - 41,296 artifacts, 21,728 images
Northeast - 30,706 artifacts, 20,226 images
Cape Breton - 27,828 artifacts, 9,922 images

Congrats to Cape Breton for adding the most records and to the Central region for adding the most images this month!

I think that's enough for March. Let's check back in next month to see if April was just as crazy, shall we?

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