Friday, October 31, 2008

October 2008 Update

Happy Halloween!!

Steering Committee
The Steering Committee met on October 24th for its quarterly meeting. We welcomed two new members to the group; Gail McGee & Jim McLean. Gail is with the Fultz House Museum in Lower Sackville and replaces Central representative Robin Cushnie who is moving back to Ontario. Since Robin was also the committee’s secretary, Gail has agreed to take on this extra task as well. Jim McLean is with the Gut of Canso Museum & Archives in Port Hastings, and is our new Cape Breton representative. He comes to the group with a background in databases and technical experience, and we are all very excited at the insight and expertise that he has to offer.

We would like to say a special goodbye to Betty Ann Aaboe-Milligan who has stepped down as Chair of the committee. She has been on the committee since the very beginning of Passage, and while she will still be around to offer corporate history and her own expertise, she has decided to take a break from the more formal role that she has held. Thank you Betty Ann for all of your hard work; it is very much appreciated by the rest of the Steering Committee as well as the rest of the Passage partners.

Derek Watts, of the Wolfville Historical Society - Randall House, is the new Chair of the Committee. Thank you to Derek for taking on this role at such a crucial time.

Made in Nova Scotia – Phase III
The enrichment team has been working very hard and continues to research records sent in by member sites. Not including the thousands of photographs that they took while visiting museums around the province, they have enriched 440 artifacts from 25 sites. While CHIN has given us a February 1st deadline, we are already very close to completing our project deliverables. Given our track record of delivering more than we promise, our personal goal is to upload over 500 artifacts by the end of the project.

The Research Assistants (Peter & Jen) finish their contracts on November 14th, so for anyone who thought there was still lots of time to send in records…time is running out. If you want them to do some work for you, we will need to have those records right away, otherwise you will miss out on this free assistance.

Artefacts Canada Tally
This month has been very active in terms of uploading. September’s overall count stood at 20,809 records online, and this month we’ve added another 16,816 records! That means that our grand total now sits at 37,625 records online.
Here are the current regional standings:
Southwest: 17,766
Northeast: 15,697
Central: 3,415
Cape Breton: 747

Congratulations to the Southwest region for taking over the #1 spot!!

If anyone needs help with the uploading process please call the office and ask for Lynn, Jen, Peter or Karin. We’d be happy to help you boost your region’s standing.

Data Cleaning
6,103 records were cleaned this month from two sites, bringing our new grand total of cleaned records to 106,415.
Due to the quick pace of this work, if we contact a site that is not ready to hand over their database for the required time, we will move on to the next site in the list. We cannot afford to wait for a few days or a week to hear back from someone.

Vista Problems
We have all heard (or experienced) of the problems associated with Windows Vista. If you are now using Vista, you should be backing up your Microsoft Access files (ie the databases) on cd after each use. There have been instances of Vista deleting database files for no apparent reason, and leaving no trace of them on the computer. We don’t want to hear about any of the members experiencing this, so please back up your databases on another computer, hard drive, or cd!

Free Stuff
We have the following resource items to give away on a first come, first serve basis. Send me an email if you would like anything.

1. Preservation Management for Seasonal Museums by Deborah Stewart. (Manual developed by the Canadian Conservation Institute for workshops)
2. Chenhall’s The Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloguing*
3. Provincial Heritage Strategy

*Note – this item will only be given out to a member museum that does not have a copy of their own.