Friday, August 30, 2013

August 2013 Update

Site Visits
Charles Macdonald Concrete House
As hard as it is to believe, the summer is drawing to a close, and I've survived another year of running the roads. August was insanely busy with site visits. Seriously, I was only in the office 5 days and was starting to forget what my house looked like. I visited 21 museums, spanning the province, and then took a couple days to sleep. Thanks to everyone for all their wonderful hospitality, for all the tasty treats, the good conversation, and the positive feedback about ANSM and NovaMuse. There are some really amazing and dedicated people working in our community museums, and it's always a treat to sit down and hear about all their shenanigans :)

Database Info
Since an entire month has passed I feel like I should have lots of updates about the updated data dictionary feature and disaster plan and all the other schemes and dreams we've been working on. So I guess all I can say right now is that my return to the office signals a serious attack on my to do list. It's only day 3 of my return, but I'm already feeling optimistic that my head will be back above water in the next week or so.  

Since I've been on the road all month I haven't been able to do any database review work, and Chris is now working on our next scheme. So we're still sitting around the 50,000 record mark. But thanks to the efforts of all the museums, another 300 records were mapped, which puts us at 19,465 of our 40,000 goal for this year. In terms of data entry, 1,241 object records were entered and 2,209 images were attached. Based on my site visit conversations, it sounds like there are a number of museums who are also in "clean up" mode now - all of the basic info has been entered and now they're going back and updating existing records. And with NovaMuse up and running I think people are taking it a bit easier this year, embracing the opportunity to plug away at improving existing info. So here's how things sit:

Southwest - 101,251 artifacts, 35,421 images
Central - 37,619 artifacts, 15,671 images
Northeast - 29,491 artifacts, 16,917 images
Cape Breton - 26,098 artifacts, 9,280 images
Congrats once again to the 
Southwest region for adding the most records and images this month!
Old Court House Museum

Your image of the month comes from the Northeast region; a nifty commemorative quilt that celebrates the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Loyalists in Guysborough. I've seen some really amazing quilt pictures and some really bad quilt pictures. Sometimes people create an artistic folded view that really works well with the camera, and other times they do like Guysborough and hang the quilt from the wall. The latter is obviously the ideal for such a beautiful object. Each block is different and we want to make sure the viewer can see all of these differences. I recently asked a museum in the US how they captured such beautiful photos of their quilts, hoping they had devised some sneaky method of hanging. Believe it or not, they just laid them on the floor and were able to shoot down from above. So keep that in mind as well in case you have a loft area that would allow you to do this. For additional shots, look to see if there are any tiny details that might get lost in such a large image. Sometimes a quilter will include their initials in a block, or use some very intricate and decorative stitching in a certain area.

I think this is where I'm going I'm going to wrap up. I look forward to seeing everyone at the ANSM annual conference in a few weeks, and will have some fun news to share next week. Stay tuned!