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  • Archives Catalog is for cataloging unpublished materials such as document collections, manuscripts, oral histories, videotapes and personal papers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