Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 Update

Odds and Ends
Well, first and foremost I have sad news to report. Our intern has finished his time with us and we are back down to 2.5 people in the office. Thanks to Kevin for all his hard work over the past 4 months. He snuck off without writing his goodbye blog post, but since he got himself an interpretation gig at the Halifax Citadel for the summer, we look forward to still hearing from him and seeing him from time to time.

Museums 101
Antigonish Heritage Museum
IMAC met this month to talk all things Advisory Service. Gary hosted us at the Citadel and there was much planning and scheming (in a good way) and of course cake eating.

Our Museums 101 workshop took place in Antigonish and got rave reviews. And remember how I said that you should always ask to be put on the waiting list if the workshop is full? Well, we actually got 4 people in off the waiting list this time. So it really is worth being on the list. Interpretation I is coming up very soon, as is the Stone Soup Symposium. Having just returned from the AAM conference (stay tuned for a separate blog post on that), I can't stress enough the importance of such professional development opportunities. Good for morale, good for networking, and good for inspiration.

The Museum Fund is coming along nicely. We have now raised 72% of our goal. Let's keep the momentum going for a better future for Nova Scotian museums. If you still haven't contributed, click here to read about it and see how you can help.

The CMAP committee met again this month and I am pleased to say that we have definitely turned a corner. It feels like things are coming together nicely and making a lot more sense. We think we have found a way to make the evaluation process easier on the museum while garnering better quantitative and qualitative data on museum operations. I'm hesitant to go into too much detail until we've piloted the new process, but I think it's going to work well. And speaking of piloting, it's coming up quickly! May 28-29th we'll be hitting the road and testing out the new evaluation. Our friends and colleagues Val Lenethan and Barbara Wentzell are joining us as pilot evaluators. Both have years of experience with museums in Nova Scotia and with CMAP in particular. They and the participating museums are eager to provide feedback on this new process and make sure that we end up with a great new system.
James House Museum

Fleming Project
This year's project has officially wrapped up. I will be sending along the student reports next week, but right now am just feeling a nice sense of accomplishment in knowing that 300 database records got some help from these students. That's a pretty decent drop in our bucket of 200,000 records. And we were all over the map in terms of what kinds of objects were included in the project. We targeted some WWI-era stuff, but everything else was pretty random - artworks, books, furniture, magazines, newspapers, clothing, accessories, dishes...the list goes on and on. The students all said they enjoyed the project and the chance to use a state-of-the-art database system. So once again we are really pleased with how this project turned out. Is it weird if I'm already looking forward to next year?

Collections Database Info
As museums prepare to open for the season, I am looking forward to seeing spikes in our database activity. This month 358 new records were entered and another 639 images were added. We're making good and steady progress all the time. As you do prepare for the summer, don't forget about our 2015 scanning challenge. Let's get those photos and postcards and 2-dimensional objects scanned and attached to the database. We're sitting at 219,319 artifacts and 93,066 images. It would be great to pass the 100,000 images threshold this summer.

Southwest - 119,161 artifacts, 40,968 images
Central - 41,389 artifacts, 21,892 images
Northeast - 30,747 artifacts, 20,284 images
Cape Breton - 28,022 artifacts, 9,922 images

Congrats to Cape Breton again for adding the most records, and to the Southwest region for adding the most images.

All for now. Good luck to all the museums preparing to open their doors for the season. I look forward to visiting.

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