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Hull Museums - the story so far Simon Wilson Collections Project Manager [email protected] tel 01482 318732 PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Hull Museums - the story so far Simon Wilson Collections Project Manager [email protected] tel 01482 318732 background… 2001 – external consultant report into documentation at Hull found a number of problems and issues: lack of consistency across the museums

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Hull Museums - the story so far Simon Wilson Collections Project Manager [email protected] tel 01482 318732

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  • Hull Museums -

  • the story so far

  • Simon Wilson

  • Collections Project Manager

  • [email protected]

  • tel 01482 318732


Background l.jpg

background…

  • 2001 – external consultant report into documentation at Hull found a number of problems and issues:

    • lack of consistency across the museums

    • huge amount of information held in paper form only

    • heavy reliance on staff knowledge of the collections

    • collections management system purchased but not brought into use due to lack of resources

    • estimated no of person days needed = 7009 (ie 31.8 years for 1 person)

  • 2005 – Accreditation Scheme used to secure £1.4m from the City

  • Council to create dedicated documentation team for 3 years


  • Slide3 l.jpg

    Ferens Art Gallery

    Maritimeinc 2 vessels

    Hull & East Riding

    Guildhall

    Wilberforce House

    Streetlife

    Hands on History


    Documentation project l.jpg

    documentation project…

    • 2005 – documentation team of 9 staff in place (Sep)

    • – documentation plan for Accreditation (Dec)

    • – start inventory using MS Access (Dec)

    • – team inherit just over 2000 records in electronic format

    • 2006 – inventory continues

    • – KE Emu selected (Jul) after thorough selection process

    • – data cleaning prior to submission to KE (Dec)

    • 2007 – inventory 63,000 records imported into CMS (Jan)

    • – data cleaning continues

    • – additional staff take team to 16 in total (Apr)

    • – website goes live (Nov)

    • 2008 – documentation project draws to close (Oct)


    2 stage process l.jpg

    2 stage process…

    • Stage 1: basic inventory into MS Access

    • - easy to use, enabled quick start to project

    • - update procedural manual

    • - data easy to manipulate/export to chosen system

    • Stage 2: KE installed and data transferred across

    • - data cleaned, especially locations and parties

    • - update procedural manual

    • - inventory continues directly into KE

    • - reconciliation with existing documentation (mda cards)

    • - some data will be re-keyed (eg by volunteers) into Excel and then imported into KE


    The benefits of this approach l.jpg

    the benefits of this approach…

    • - with no system in place were no real issues over legacy data

    • - existing staff all recognise the need to change the way they work

    • and the need for a single coherent system/strategy/policy

    • – dedicated team means we can work on all fronts at the same time

    • – dedicated project manager is a considerable advantage when

    • dealing with ICT / system developers - single contact point etc

    • – what we have now is already a significant improvement

    • - a single system for searching all collections

    • - creation of person “authorities”


    The pitfalls of this approach l.jpg

    the pitfalls of this approach…

    • – with no system in place curatorial experience of using

    • collection management systems is from previous posts

    • – trying to blend different ways of working into a single coherent

    • system/strategy/policy

    • – necessary time spent on data cleaning means that some

    • momentum of the inventory stage has been lost

    • – documentation team don’t have the object knowledge that the

    • Keepers have

    • – trying to make a huge step in a very short period of time


    Lessons learnt l.jpg

    lessons learnt …

    • 1. put more effort into data cleaning at a much earlier stage

    • (everybody in the team will spend 1 day a week on checking and

    • cleaning the data rather than last minute panic before we go live!)

    • 2. foster a culture of shared ownership with existing staff

    • (created Collections Working Group to discuss KE issues & make

    • collective decisions - is in the Keeper’s interests to participate)

    • 3. start with accession register and then build on that

    • (get basic records about everything …)


    The next six months l.jpg

    the next six months…

    • Batch import of images

    • – have thousands of images to import

    • – look to automate the process as much as possible

    • Object Locator

    • – gallery plans used across many sites already

    • – link to current location will be used (hopefully) to turn “virtual” visitors into real ones


    The next six months11 l.jpg

    the next six months…

    • Natural History

    • – start documenting this collection

    • DCF Decorative Arts project

    • – dedicated mini-site to promote this collection

    • – looking to develop content for touch-screen / kiosks


    The next six months12 l.jpg

    the next six months…

    • Website

    • – collections site designed and launched with 2 levels of use: “narratives” for browsers & database search for researchers

    • - thousands of images / hundreds of stories about the objects

      • cross-links between related stories / themes

      • people, places and events from the city and region with clear and explicit links to items in our collections

      • links to fact sheets, teachers resource packs & online learning resources

  • – also keen to investigate quizzes / object feedback forms (moderated) and other methods of interacting with users – inc users creating their own “virtual gallery” of our objects


  • Partner s wanted l.jpg

    partner(s) wanted…

    • Museum just installed KE and looking to promote its

    • collections online, would like to meet similar, with keen

    • interest in developing new features and sharing costs.

    • Also looking for a relationship with an institution

    • experienced in cataloguing natural history collections.

    • (East Yorks but willing to travel)

    • Call 01482 318732 or

    • E-mail [email protected]


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