Friday, August 30, 2019

August 2019 Updates

Museum Evaluation Program
Writing, writing writing! September 6th is the day we hope to mail out evaluation reports to the 29 sites evaluated this year. 19 reports are complete, and the remaining 10 are all partially complete, so we are on track to meet this deadline.

We are also actively planning for 2020 evaluations. Orientation sessions will take place in October and November, and once we finalize the arrangements, we will announce dates and locations. There will again be four sessions across the province. If you are slated for evaluation in 2020 or are interested in learning more about the program, this is a great place to start.

Membership Renewal
If you are a member of the Advisory Service and haven't yet sent in your membership renewal, now is the time. We won't name names, but there are still a few outstanding renewals. Emails and phone calls are coming your way! We have some special projects and partnerships up our sleeves for fall and winter; we need your renewal in order for you to participate. You won't want to miss out. Trust me.

CollectiveAccess Updates
It's kind of cool to think about how far we've come. In 2006, it was decided to try and get some collection records online. Now here we are in 2019 with 305,962 items in CollectiveAccess, with more being added every day. "Only" 230,345 are available to the public on NovaMuse, so don't forget to check your access status when you're adding new records.
Over the past month, 4,720 new records and 14,616 new images were added. Wow. Those are very impressive numbers. 
Here's the regional breakdown:
Southwest - 136,677 artifacts 79,208 images
Central - 102,088 artifacts, 59,545 images
Northeast - 36,309 artifacts, 52,446 images
Cape Breton - 30,888 artifacts, 16,843 images

Don't forget about the new features! Our YouTube tutorials cover how to use the change log and manage statistics. You can also learn how to use the new editor alerts function to clean up records. Remember that the Help Menu provides quick access to FAQs, Resources, and contact information. The CollectiveAccess Manual has also been updated to reflect the new database features.

It's never too early to plan for next season! Why not start using the Seasonal Work Calendar? Remember, you can customize this document to suit your site's needs.

Hub Training
Hub Training - Old Sydney Society
& Wallace and Area Museum
In August, we offered hub training at the Old Sydney Society and Wallace and Area Museum. It's hard to believe we are nearing the end of the summer but don't worry! There is still one session remaining:

DesBrisay Museum (Bridgewater, NS) - Thurs., September 12th 9 AM

Registration is nearly full so email Sandi ( to secure one of the remaining spots! If you participated in one of the hub training sessions this year, please send in your feedback - you would have received an invite to fill out the online survey by email and it's not too late to reply.

Joleen and Museum Staff
SME Update
Joleen and Sandi visited L'Acadie de Chezzetcook to see a number of baskets in person. We can't thank Joleen enough for sharing her knowledge and participating in this partnership once again. She shared many insightful tips that we are excited to share with you soon. We plan on editing the video footage, which will be featured in the audio/video feature on NovaMuse shortly.

Looking to partner with subject matter experts in your own community? Check out our SME tip sheet! This is a great place to start.

Don't forget the video series showcasing the SME partnership with Kings County Museum. Learn more about bottles and silverware directly from the experts.

Transcription Tool Update
We are currently working on a test site and a few of our Advisory Service sites have been so kind to test out this new feature for us. In the meantime, we encourage you to explore two online transcription tools that we are drawing inspiration from offered by the Nova Scotia Archives and the Royal BC Museum. Stay tuned for more updates!

Old Loans
We mentioned last month that we had just received info from the lawyer helping us on this special project. Once evaluation reports are finished, Karin will finish updating our reconciliation toolkit. We've got a long list of museums that have asked for help in developing their lender lists, but if you haven't yet requested yours, be in touch with Sandi or Karin. We'll add you to the list and send you a customized loan reconciliation plan using the new toolkit.

Museum Moments 
Do you have tips you'd like to share regarding collections management? What about an event or special project you'd like to highlight? We'd love to hear and share your story in a featured blog post!

Conference Update
Registration is now open for this year’s conference: Mining Your Museum: Making Every Nugget Count. This year’s conference theme is capacity building. Tues., September 17th 7:00pm – Thurs., September 19th 5:00pm at Sherbrooke Village. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

July 2019 Update

Site Evaluation, Port Hastings Museum
photo credit Yvonne Fox
Museum Evaluation Program
The much anticipated site evaluations took place this month. 12 museum professionals served as evaluators and criss-crossed the province, visiting 29 sites over the course of three weeks. You can check out our evaluation photo album on Facebook to see where we went and what these museums are up to.

So what happens next? The evaluation process is far from over. Karin is now tabulating the scores from the 87 site evaluation forms, after which the evaluation reports will be developed. For those museums that were evaluated in 2016, you'll notice some additional graphs and info in this year's report, including a comparison between this year's results and your previous results. Reports will be mailed out in early September.

IMAC & Advisory Service membership
If you haven't yet sent in your membership renewal, now is the time to do it! We have a lot on the go, and you don't want to miss out on opportunities to participate in special projects.
In more exciting news, IMAC met yesterday and approved three applications for museums to join the Advisory Service. Yay new friends!! They approved another application at their last meeting, so that means we are now at capacity with 55 museums participating in this membership program. Last fall as part of our strategic plan, we set a goal of reaching capacity by 2023, so we were really pleased by the response to our call-out for new participants.

CollectiveAccess Updates
301,212 artifacts documented with 193,426 associated images,  which means that 1,660 new records and 3,385 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month. Congratulations to all regions for collectively breaking the 300,000 mark! Great work.

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest - 134,564 artifacts 75,411 images
Central - 101,344 artifacts, 56,106 images
Northeast - 34,546 artifacts, 45,659 images
Cape Breton - 30,758 artifacts, 16,250 images

Hub Training
We have reached the half way mark for hub training sessions. Don't miss out! Why not attend one of the three remaining sessions?

Old Sydney Society (Charlotte Street, Sydney, NS) - Tues., August 13th 10 AM
Wallace and Area Museum (Wallace, NS) - Thurs., August 29th 9 AM
DesBrisay Museum (Bridgewater, NS) - Thurs., September 12th 9 AM

Hub Training - Port Hastings Museum
There are spots remaining in our upcoming session. Advisory Service members also expressed interest in later training opportunities this year so the last two sessions will take place in August and September.

Haven't had the opportunity to join in yet? These sessions are a great time for you to take part in digitization training once you wind down from a busy summer at your museum. This year, there is a focus on digitizing 2-dimensional items with connections to manufacturing and makers in Nova Scotia, further enhancing connections to Made in Nova Scotia. Spots fill up quickly so please email Sandi ( as soon as possible to express interest.

New and Improved Resources
Looking for an easy way to track changes in CollectiveAccess? Watch our latest tutorials to learn how to use the change log and manage statistics. Did you know the database can also suggest edits? Learn how to use the new editor alerts function to clean up records.

The CollectiveAccess Manual has also been updated to reflect new database features.

Looking to expand your galleries on myNovaMuse? Why not check out Webinar 5 - Identifying, Linking & Sharing Stories in our collections management webinar series and the NovaMuse Stories Guide. This would be a fun end of summer project for students. Did they take interest in specific records that tell a great story? Why not share it with your online audience as well! Did you have a fantastic temporary display? Why not feature it in a gallery so that others can see it's a part of your online collection! The sky is the limit. If you are having trouble finding your log-in information, please contact Sandi.

Exciting news! We are in the process of developing a transcription tool for NovaMuse. We will be working with a few museums in the Advisory Service to test out this new tool shortly.

One of our ongoing goals is to continue to add new entries and expand on existing entries in the manufacturer database. Do you have information about manufacturing and/or makers in your area and would like to share? Let us know! We'd like to add to our Made in NS resource list.

SME Update
Joleen w/ Lordly House Museum (bottom left)
Joleen and Sandi (bottom right)
We are working with a few returning SMEs this year who have been so kind to offer their expertise to further enrich records found in CollectiveAccess and on NovaMuse. We are excited to announce that we have received funding to improve the multimedia capacity of NovaMuse that will give us the opportunity to add a more robust narrative to records online. Our SMEs are great sports and will be the first to contribute to this enhanced feature. 

This month, Sandi visited the Dartmouth Heritage Museum and Lordly House Museum with Joleen Gordon who has offered to share her knowledge of baskets and wooden flowers with us. Video footage of the artifact identification process will soon be added to records on NovaMuse. Sandi and Joleen looks forward to visiting the Acadian House Museum in August. More updates on SME work soon!

Old Loans
Last week we received more info from the lawyer helping us on this project. We are very pleased with the results as they help to clarify the risks associated with 'permanent' loans in museums. The next step is to add all of this legal info into our loan reconciliation toolkit. We've also had many museums ask for lender lists to help them jump start the reconciliation process once the toolkit is released. This is really encouraging, and we hope to see a drastic reduction in the number of outstanding loans in the years to come. If you are a CollectiveAccess user and haven't yet asked for your lender list, contact Sandi or Karin.

Museum Moments 
Do you have tips you'd like to share regarding collections management? What about an event or special project you'd like to highlight? We'd love to hear and share your story in a featured blog post!