Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 2016 Update

Museum Evaluation Program
As amazing as it is to believe, the final countdown to the site evaluations is on. The review of all the documentation submissions is completed and the briefing notes for the evaluation teams are almost done. Tuesday is evaluator orientation day, which is the real launching point of the site evaluations. Briefing notes and travel packages will be handed out, and we'll be working through the evaluation methodology.
For those that are being evaluated, I will be circulating reminders this week about your evaluation team, their arrival time, and other last minute details. 

And now, I'm going to hand things over to Heather for this month's recap:
Our new office loft...not that empty now

Musings from the Intern!
Another month has passed here at the ANSM and it was never a dull moment. We moved offices (just next to our old one, so we're not far and all of our contact info is the same) which was a huge undertaking but we're setting in nicely.
Here’s a bit of what we got up to this past month:

Site Visits
We’re pleased to say we’re working along well on our site visit schedule which will be happening very soon. We already have a couple set up for next week at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and Colchester Historeum. We’re welcoming Sandi Stewart as our Advisory Assistant to conduct usual site visits and take part in lots of other fun work as part of the Advisory Service. Keep on the look-out for an upcoming welcoming blog post for Sandi. I’ll be able to join her on some of her site visits to assist as well as do some #ProjectVicky work. After spending the past couple months learning bit by bit about so many sites, it’ll be great to actually visit a few of them. We’ve also geared up our social media posting to include more #ProjectVicky posts, which has been fun and hopefully inspiring to see.
Our site visit to the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum on June 11th came just before our busy week of moving but was a really fun way to spend a Saturday. Our main mission was to assist Barry, the all-knowing head volunteer at the museum, with sorting out storage locations and assigning artifacts to them accordingly, to better position the museum for their site evaluation in August. The 3 summer students were very eager and interested in assisting with this task which helped a lot. I had the gloriously daunting but rewarding task of going around the Frank MacLoon Gallery, which houses a majority of the museum’s aircrafts and engines, and tried my hand at photographing as much as I could. 
Karin and I thought it would be fun to select one of the photos I took (some of which are up on NovaMuse now) as our image of the month! Here’s one of our favourite planes – the Pitts Special S-1C. This is one of the only planes I uploaded to the museum’s database so far where you can see the
Pitts Special S-1C
Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum
entire plane in one shot at a decent angle. It’s important to get an idea of the entirety of an object and planes are no exception. However, in a situation like this with so many planes packed tightly together into one space, it was nearly impossible to get a complete, unobscured shot of any aircraft. I went around with my camera on a tripod (a must, especially with the lighting in the gallery). In a situation like this, many of my shots were the result of trial and error. With each artifact, I’d have to take a little time to stand in different positions around it and see what would work best. This took time and lots of patience. In some cases I couldn’t get the whole plane in one shot, so I would opt for a few photos of the front of the plane and separate shots of the mid-section and back. In cases like this, a solid, contrasting background isn’t an option so you just have to deal with it as-is. Overall I’d say the day went well as a whole and we left with the work to be continued in the capable hands of Barry and his students.

SME Basketry Project
We’re right in the thick of our SME basketry project with Joleen. After finishing a session with
Basket Buddies!!
Joleen yesterday, we’ve now reviewed 97 baskets. Almost at the 100th basket mark! There were a few instances yesterday where Joleen was seeing new weaving techniques for the first time – an exciting event considering she’s such a pro! We’ve now revised 15 museums’ baskets in our trusty Excel spreadsheet and about half of these I’ve actually been able to update in databases (don’t worry, I will always ask permission before going into any databases and changing anything). We encountered 4 new museums’ baskets today which was really exciting to all of us. It’s always great to learn more about the different areas of the province from Joleen through the art of basketry.  

Made in Nova Scotia
Since the focus this month has been on evaluation prep work, baskets, and helping people with database issues, this project was put aside once the Pictou County furniture maker entries were completed. But, we've been stockpiling more resources and so will be returning to it asap. One of these resources is going to take a lot of work, but will include some amazing images of Halifax County businesses once we get it all sorted out. Exciting!!
Collections Database Info
You can tell that the summer staff cavalry have arrived because the databases are hopping! We have a grand total of 224,847 records and 111,786 images this month. So close to 225K! There are 1,595 more records this month and 1,970 more images added since May. As always keep up the amazing work.

Here's the regional breakdown:
Southwest – 121,364 artifacts, 50,966 images
Central – 43,160 artifacts, 27,189 images
Northeast - 31,809 artifacts, 22,361 images
Cape Breton - 28,514 artifacts, 11,252 images

Congratulations to Northeast Region for adding the most records and to Southwest Region for adding the most images! All for this month. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more adventures!