Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CollectiveAccess database update

As you all know, we've got a pretty major database renewal project on the go.  We're moving from a custom-built Microsoft Access system to CollectiveAccess.  This will be web-based, and as a Phase II of the project we're going to have a public interface that will allow anyone to peruse through the material culture held in Nova Scotia's community museums.  But that's Phase II.  We're still in Phase I.

For the past two weeks I've been collecting all of the artifact photos from participating museums in preparation for the great migration of 2011.  This is a very fun task.  Not only does it let me sneak a peak at what's out there, but it's also a great way to get inspiration for future ANSM training opportunities.  Knowing what people have in their collections helps us figure out what workshops and training is needed.  In order to make the migration process smooth, I need to get the artifact photos from the Collections - Originals folder from each museum.  Once I get all of these photographs, I send them along to our database developer so they can be migrated into the new system.  For anyone reading this who hasn't sent me their photos yet, call the office and we'll figure something out.

We now have the beta-version of the new system and have been playing around with it to figure out what kinds of adjustments need to be made.  Once the Information Management & Access Committee (IMAC) is happy with it, we're going to bring in a couple beta-testers.  To test the migration process, our new friend Seth (aka database developer) used the Admiral Digby Museum's database and images.  Here are a couple of screen shots from the new system.

Dashboard - what you'll see when you log in

artefact record view
We're still making some adjustments and getting everything organized, but I thought you might like a taste of what's to come in the New Year.    Also, if you haven't answered the database survey, please do so as soon as possible as this is determining the migration order.  If I don't hear from you, I'll assume everything is fine and you'll be put at the bottom of the list.

Stay tuned for more...