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Jump-starting a records management program: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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PastPerfect Museum Software. Making It Work For You. Society of North Carolina Archivists Spring Meeting, March 4, 2005 Session III – Making Our Lives Easier? Using Database Management in Archives. Adina L. Riggins Archivist/Special Collections Librarian UNC Wilmington. Advantages.

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Pastperfect museum software

PastPerfect Museum Software

Making It Work For You

Society of North Carolina Archivists

Spring Meeting, March 4, 2005

Session III – Making Our Lives Easier?

Using Database Management in Archives

Adina L. RigginsArchivist/Special Collections LibrarianUNC Wilmington


  • Relational database functionality

  • Ease of use, reduce need for database design

  • Can include digital images in catalogs

  • Helps with a variety of archives activities

Archives activities
Archives Activities

  • Accessioning

  • Cataloging (Arrangement and Description)

  • Researching/Searching – on-site patron

  • Research/Searching – remote (virtual) patron


  • Accession

    one or more objects acquired at one time from one source, constituting a single transaction between the museum and a source

    --(Burcaw 1997), as quoted in PastPerfect Museum Software Version 3.0 User’s Guide

  • Accession

    1) the act and procedures involved in taking records or papers into physical and legal custody of an archival agency or manuscript repository. 2) The materials involved in such a transfer of custody

    --Glossary provided by Michelle A. Francis, Hometown History Workshop, Wilmington, NC, 5 June, 2002

First step create an accession register
First Step: Create an Accession Register

  • Purpose: To keep track of who gave what …

  • And to record other key administrative information about the transaction

  • Helps to make management decisions about processing priorities

Traditional accession register
Traditional Accession Register*

*Thanks to Michelle Francis, “Providing Access” component of

“Hometown History” Workshop, 5 June, 2002, NHCPL, Wilmington, NC

Archival arrangement and description
Archival Arrangement and Description

  • Archives Catalog is for cataloging unpublished materials such as document collections, manuscripts, oral histories, videotapes and personal papers

  • Unit of Description – Item level or fonds level


  • All the hard work of cataloging pays off

  • Allows for in-house patrons to search and view objects

  • Allows for staff to research collections in interesting ways, plan exhibits, assess collection needs

Web research
Web Research

  • Virtual Exhibit 4 “Web Sites Made Easy”

  • Separate from PP4 and Evaluation VE4

  • Can create up to 6 searchable online exhibits


  • “Uniforms” exhibit

  • Can browse or search this exhibit

  • Functional display, customizable


  • Benedetti, Susannah and Andy Dutka. NC ECHO panel discussion on successful digitization grant projects at the NCLA biennial conference, Winston-Salem, NC, 24 September, 2003.

  • Francis, Michelle. “Providing Access” at Hometown History workshop, New Hanover County Public Library Northeast Branch, Wilmington, NC, 5 June, 2002.

  • Pfohl, Dan, Systems Librarian at UNC-Wilmington. E-mail interview, 28 February, 2005.


  • PastPerfect by AltaMira Press

  • World War II Through the Eyes of the Cape Fear

  • Randall Library Art and Treasures Tour