Accessioning and Cataloguing: PastPerfect. By Rachel E. Coleman. Things to keep straight. Donor (the person donating an object or a group of objects) Accession (a single donation – it might be only one object, or it might be a large number of objects) Individual Object
By Rachel E. Coleman
Following Rachel Coleman as she accessioned and catalogued an accession this past summer
1. A man named Jack Shropshire contacted Maria, expressing interest in donating an engine.
2. Maria and Michael talked, and decided that they would accept the engine.
3. Maria sent a letter informing Mr. Shropshire that they would accept his engine and giving him instructions regarding sending it to the Museum.
4. Maria then gave me all of the information Mr. Shropshire had given her about the engine, and told me that I would take over from there.
5. When the Museum received the engine in the mail, I sent Mr. Shropshire a letter informing him of his engine’s arrival. This letter included two copies of the deed of gift for him to sign, legally placing the engine into the Museum’s care.
Dear Mr. Shropshire
The spitfire engine that you are donating to the Museum arrived safe and sound on Monday, June 2nd. Thank you for honoring us with this donation and for taking the time to see that it was mailed to us safely.
Since the engine’s arrival I have been working on the process of cataloging it in our collections. To finish this process I have included with this letter two copies of the Deed of Gift form. This is the form that legally transfers ownership of the artifact to the Museum. Please sign both copies and return them to me in the provided envelope. Once I receive them I will sign them and mail one back to you for your records. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (765)-287-1256 ext. 508 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Thank you again for your donation of the spitfire engine. The Museum is dependant on generous donations such as the one that you are making. With your donation you are helping secure the story of model aviation for generations to come.
Maria K. VanVreede
National Model Aviation Museum
6. I created a donor file for Mr. Shropshire, and an accession file for the donation. I recorded the accession in Maria’s accession book, and gave the accession an accession number.
7. I created an accession record in PastPerfect. I entered information about the donation and connected the record to Mr. Shropshire’s already existing Donor Record.
8. Next, I gave the engine a catalogue number and created a catalogue record in PastPerfect for the engine.
The PastPerfect catalogue record will include:
9. I attached the engine’s catalogue number with a paper tag and wrote the number on the engine with a pencil. I thenplacedthe engine in storage.
Different museums use different systems for tagging. Some use paper tags, others paint or draw the number on the object, etc. It often depends on the nature of the object.
10. When I received the signed deeds of gift in the mail from Mr. Shropshire, I had Maria, as registrar, sign them both.
11. I then sent one copy of the deed of gift back to Mr. Shropshire, along with a thank-you letter and a pamphlet of information about becoming a Museum Patron.
Thank you again for donating your model engine. This engine is an excellent addition to the museum's collection, because we only have two Anderson Spitfires in our collection at the moment, and neither is this specific make. As part of our program for preserving aeromodelling artifacts, items are rotated on and off exhibit to give the item a chance to rest. Because of this I can not promise that the engine will be on permanent display, but it will always be available to researchers in our storage area.
If you have some time in the near future, I would appreciate it if you could possibly write down some information on the history of the engine. Having this type of information in the files for the objects helps us and researchers when performing research and writing exhibit labels. Anything that you feel is important for us to know about the item can also be sent to me to place in the file. If you have any questions, please contact me at 765-287-1256, ext. 508.
Enclosed with this letter is the final copy of the Deed of Gift form. Please keep this form for your records. Also enclosed with this letter is an application for the Museum's Patron program. This program offers several benefits for you, and directly supports the Museum as we work to preserve the history of model aviation.
Thank you again. It is only with the help of generous people like yourself that the museum is able to succeed.
If you are ever in the Muncie area, please visit the Museum and say "hello."
Maria K. VanVreede
12. I placed the other copy of the deed of gift into the donor file along with a copy of the arrival letter and thank you letter and the original correspondence Maria had had with Mr. Shropshire about the engine.
13. Finally, I placed a copy of the deed of gift into the accession file along with a copy of the catalogue record and other information we had about the engine.