Thursday, February 28, 2019

February 2019 Update

February was a busy month for meetings. The Council of Nova Scotia Archives' Education Committee, of which I (Karin) am an ex-officio member, met to continue planning for the 2019 conference. The theme is "Beyond the Record" and will look at non-traditional uses of archival records. It will take place May 9 & 10 at the Nova Scotia Archives. Unfortunately these are the same dates as our Marketing & Revenue Generation workshop, but hopefully this won't be problematic for anyone.

I spent a couple days in Ottawa as part of CHIN's new Advisory Committee. It was a quick trip but chock full of geeky brainstorming and discussions about documentation standards, data cleaning, and the renewal of Artefacts Canada and development of a Makers in Canada resource. Nova Scotia's museums as well positioned for this work given what we've been doing in CollectiveAccess and our SME and Made in Nova Scotia initiatives. When the new site launches, we'll be a very strong presence, which is very exciting. I'll keep you posted as things develop.

CRHG meeting
The Digitization and Digital Preservation Discussion Group (DDPG) meeting was held on Thursday, February 21st. Sandi participated from afar. Healthy discussion about challenges and opportunities in digital preservation and asset management took place. The importance of strategic planning was a repeated point, prioritizing tasks and clearly communicating goals.

The Central Region Heritage Group (CRHG) met at the Alderney Library on February 22nd. It was a pretty full room, and everyone had lots to share about activities and programs. It was also great to have Faith Wallace, program officer for Canadian Heritage, present, both so she could hear first-hand what's on the go and so she could share funding info.

Museum Evaluation Program
Last month I shared that we opened the ftp site for Documentation Review submissions, and this month I'm excited to say that four museums are already submitting info, 3 months ahead of the deadline! Two more Q&A emails have been circulated, and it sounds like most of the museums on the ticket for this year are plugging away at prep work.
We are happy to report that the evaluators have been selected and teams established. We've got a lot of returning people as well as some fresh faces, so it looks like we will once again have strong teams with great mixes of skills and experiences. Once we receive everyone's blackout dates for site evaluations (deadline is March 15!), I'll get to work on the schedule and circulate it with team bios. Remember that once the schedule is set, we can't easily change it. There are just too many museums and evaluators and other factors at play. So if you haven't yet sent in your blackout dates, do it asap! Don't assume that someone else has already been in touch.

Digitization Highlights 
Every Thursday leading up to the summer months, we will feature throwbacks to digitization work done for NovaMuse on our Facebook and Twitter! Don't forget to follow us. You may spot someone you know! This week's post features group shots from our travels to Advisory Service sites throughout the years.

CollectiveAccess Updates
There are now 297,767 artifacts documents with 179,413 associated images, which means that 204 new records and 645 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month. The Central Region also added the most images this month. Good job! 

A special mention goes out to Scott Manor House who added 262 new images in the last month! They were proactive and borrowed our photo kit to digitize a chunk of their records.

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:
Southwest - 133,389 artifacts, 67,905 images
Central -  100,564 artifacts, 51,880 images
Northeast -  33,632 artifacts, 43,651 images
Cape Breton -  30,182 artifacts, 15,977 images

Reminder - Please do not enter private information, such as phone numbers and addresses in public fields in CollectiveAccess. We have stumbled across this a few different times. It is important to include this in training and explain the relationship between CollectiveAccess and NovaMuse to others.

Nomenclature Updates
We've been using Nomenclature 3.0 since 2012(ish) and are thrilled about the new online version. While we love our books, please bookmark the website and use it instead to make sure that your object names and categories follow the current standard. If you want, you can use the website and write in any changes/updates to your book so both will be available, but the website should be your primary tool. It is important that you use Inverted Order when conducting a search. We hope to have a YouTube tutorial ready by next week to help you navigate the site and translate its info into CollectiveAccess.

Old Loans
We've been talking about this again for the past month or so, that permanent loans have surfaced as an issue and we're rolling up our sleeves to tackle it. Here's where we're at. I'm in the end stages of updating our loan reconciliation resource guide. I've talked with probate court, funeral homes, vital statistics, and am now just waiting on lawyers to give feedback before we release the new version. In the meantime, Sandi and I have been compiling 'lender lists' for museums so they can clearly see the old loans under their care. Notice that I did not say "in their collection". These loans are not yours nor are they part of your collection. It's time to have a talk with the lender (or executor) about reconciliation. Museums that have requested lender lists will be receiving them as part of a customized loan reconciliation plan, integrated with our new resource. Yes this will be some work to tackle, but it is a risk management exercise that is well worth the effort. If you are interested in getting your list of loans, email Sandi or Karin and we'll get to work.

Fleming Partnership
The students have finished the first part of their project, to proofread 300 records from 10 museums. Deb and Karin are reviewing their work now as they prepare to shift their focus to researching an artifact of their choice. That's the fun part and we can't wait to hear what they uncover. It's a very eclectic mix of records this year, with everything from a catechism to kitchen utensils included. We'll be sure to share highlights when the project wraps up.

Photo Kit
Our photo kit has just returned to the office after a good workout at a museum. If you're interested in borrowing it for 3 weeks to tackle digitization at your site, contact Sandi.

In case you missed it...
We've been writing a lot lately, so just in case you haven't been following us on social media, here's a recap of some other blog posts you might like to read:

1. NovaMuse Galleries - Mirroring Temporary Exhibits. Have you ever mourned the loss of a temporary exhibit? Wished it could stick around forever? Well here's your chance! Read this post to learn about morphing that physical exhibit into a virtual exhibit for all the world to see.

2. Book Review - Code of Ethics for Museum Friends and Volunteers. Do you have a hankering for ethics content? Do your volunteers wish the CMA's Ethics Guidelines spoke more to their role? Do you have a separate, formal fundraising or supporting body for the museum? If so, you'll definitely want to check out this book review and share it with your friends.

3. CollectiveAccess - How to Enter Child Records. Have you ever been confused or frustrated by the cataloguing of a photo album or scrapbook? Do you find it difficult to capture all the detail of each item in a doctor's medical bag or a shaving kit in one record? Have we got a solution for you. Read this post and check out its YouTube tutorial and your troubles are over.

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