Friday, July 29, 2016

July 2016 Update

Queens County Museum

Museum Evaluation Program
The past 3 weeks have been a total blur. We've had 15 museum professionals travelling in every direction to visit and evaluate 66 museums. There are still 4 more on the list that we couldn't cram into these 3 weeks, but they'll be wrapped up soon. Huge thanks to the evaluators who volunteered their time to help out their colleagues, and to the museums who were so wonderfully welcoming to us. We lucked out and had amazing weather although this week was a bit on the warm side, and so all the water and lemonade offerings were a great gift. I'm still receiving all the forms and photos from evaluations, but the next step is to start tabulating results and writing up reports. My goal is to have these done by September. I'm seeing lots of comments from evaluators, so I trust that the museums will find the feedback in these reports to be very helpful. There are so many great photos from the evaluations that I can't share them all here. But be sure to check out our album on Facebook, and keep checking back because there are still many more images to come. 

And now, musings from the Intern!

#MuseumBasketCases Update
Since my time interning at the ANSM is quickly coming to a close, the time has come to wrap up projects. I’m pleased to say that Joleen and I have now reviewed over 230 baskets from 21 museums all over the province. We are cautiously optimistic that we will complete our list next week, a goal both Joleen and I are eager to reach. In the coming two weeks I will be finishing up any database revision and sending off reports to each museum whose basket records we’ve revised, detailing what was changed as well as some tips and tricks for basket records in the future and what to keep an eye out for. We realize there are now more basket records on NovaMuse and both Joleen and I have been extremely excited to know that some sites have reached out and have been actively digitizing their baskets in order to get involved in the project. Joleen is always interested to see what’s out there so hopefully in the near future this project can continue and these newer records can be enriched. Once again we are thankful to see the outreach and collaboration this project has brought and I can safely say that as an intern this project has given me lots of great opportunities and I now know a lot about an art form I previously had very little knowledge about, which is always exciting! 

Advisory Site Visits and #ProjectVicky
I have had the privilege to join Sandi, our Advisory Assistant, on the road this past month as she has
L-R: Me (Heather), Sandi, Nancy & Cindy at Lordly House,
my adopted museum from the winter Fleming project.
I am the first student to visit their artifacts in person!
It was awesome!!
been going out on advisory service site visits to participating museums. Sandi’s passion for Nova Scotia’s history and museums has really shone through and I can tell she’s really enjoying meeting all the friendly faces of Nova Scotia’s community museums along the way – as am I. Our visits include a quick meeting about some of the ongoing and upcoming projects at the ANSM as well as some helpful CollectiveAccess refreshers. Then we move on to digitizing Victorian-era artifacts (usually about 10-20) for #ProjectVicky in order to add some photo documentation to artifacts which previously had none and to assist in some digitization training. I’m very happy about some of the amazing artifacts I’ve had the chance to see in person because of this project – everything from gorgeous porcelain dishes to a bouquet made out of seashells to a gentleman’s top hat – it’s never a dull moment! Sandi will continue on with advisory visits into September after my internship is finished but I’ll be keeping up with the updates on our NovaMuse Facebook and Twitter accounts by following #ProjectVicky. We would really love to see some more followers who can help us share the amazing artifacts and information about museum collections.

Collections Database Info
You can tell that the summer staff cavalry have arrived because the databases are hopping! We have a grand total of 227,454 records and 116,045 images this month. Now well over our milestone of 225k! There are 2,607 more records this month and a staggering 4,259 more images added since June. As always keep up the amazing work. We are loving watching the numbers climb :) 

Here's the regional breakdown:
Southwest – 122,551 artifacts, 52,313 images
Central – 43,426 artifacts, 27,605 images
Northeast – 32,363 artifacts, 23,020 images
Cape Breton – 29,114 artifacts, 13,107 images

Congratulations to Southwest Region for adding the most records and to Cape Breton for adding the most images!

Your image lesson of the month is one of the baskets we reviewed. This is the side view of the basket so you can see its interesting shape and construction. The museum took another 5 photos of the basket in order to show the top, bottom and other details. This is key when dealing with 3-dimensional objects. You should also note that when photographing objects in natural colours such as unpainted wood that it's important to compare how the item looks on the dark and light background fabrics. The object should really pop to your eye, so whichever serves as the best contrast, that's what you should use. What would I do to improve the shot? I would have kept the entire scale in the image instead of cropping out the corner and bottom. And I would have used that bottom width to create a picture frame effect of the same width around the entire object. You want the artifact to be centred rather than drawn into any particular side or corner. 

All for this month! Until next time...