It is hard to imagine, but the world has actually changed pretty dramatically since our last newsletter. We hope you, your families and your colleagues are all doing as well as can be expected during these unsettling times.
We know most museums are affected by the closures, and many are in a state of financial uncertainty. We are grateful that the American Alliance of Museums has put together information to help. Please visit the AAM COVID resources page for more information.
There has been a great deal of work happening in CatalogIt with many improvements and enhancements to the system. Perhaps the most exciting is the new functionality enabling hierarchical locations. You can now create a full hierarchy for the locations of your Entries- select the most specific location and the rest will automatically be in place. For example, I can indicate that an object is in my Drawer 2B, my hierarchy will already have mapped out that Drawer 2B is in Cabinet 4, which is on the West Wall of Storage Room A, on the First Floor of the Main Building. This new hierarchy also allows for you to have multiple instances of the same location - for example, you can have a Drawer 2B for more than one cabinet in different rooms while still being clear which Drawer 2B you are referring to. Watch a brief video here on our support site to see how this works!
We’ve also added a few new Classifications: Furniture and Sewing Pattern. Give them a try! There will always be more Classifications to come.
The previous free text field in the Museum and Organization plans to enter signatures and inscriptions has been upgraded to a new Inscription/Signature/Marks expansion group. Now, you can select the type of inscription or mark, and describe its details. You can also have multiple- for example, a stamp or seal, and a signature- and record the details separately. The existing free text inscriptions/signature field in the Personal plan has been expanded to also include “Marks.” These changes will allow all users to be more specific and thereby enhance the documentation of their collections.
For our Museum clients, we’ve added a new Profile within the Intake expansion group called Acquisition- this Profile is for items acquired by your institution that aren’t intended to be part of your Accessioned collections- items such as props, reference materials, equipment, etc. Watch a short video here on our Support Site about using the Acquisition Profile.
You may have come across the classification “Moment” while working on CatalogIt and wondered “hmmm, what is a Moment?” Well, I think this is a great time to tell you!
A “Moment” is how you can capture an event, a moment in time, an installation, or an inspiration. Suppose you are on a road trip through Utah and stop at the Topaz Museum, the site of a Japanese Internment Camp. You are touched by an installation of beautiful brooches made from shells collected by internees. You can immediately take a photo, upload it into CatalogIt as a Moment, and quickly give it a description. Now you have that installation memorialized in your system to look at later. Perhaps you want to show your family how inspired you were by the beauty made in such a sad place. Or maybe you just want to memorialize your travels.
Another great way to use moments is to take a photo of a grouping of artwork in your collection. Maybe you really love the way the six ceramic bowls you collected in Spain look together and you want to save it to show your friends or colleagues later. This image will be as available on your computer or mobile device and you can share all your great collections with anyone you want whenever you want.
But how does it work? Well, it’s easy! Simply open up your app, click the orange plus sign in the corner to create a new record, use the camera on your mobile device to take a photo and add a name. Select “Moment” as your classification and you are on your way! You can save your record and stop here or you can record the vital statistics of your great moment - a description (the What), the Who, Where, and date (When). Write as much or as little as you want. Add more views if you want - CatalogIt allows for as many photos as you need to capture your story. And remember - a picture speaks a thousand words - you can stop at just the photo, classification and a name and let this moment speak for itself!
Well, not exactly. But we are looking forward to seeing you all again once the world reopens. We know museum associations are making the difficult decision on whether to keep their 2020 conference schedules or postpone till 2021. We hope to attend several conferences in the summer and fall, but if we can’t, please know that we at CatalogIt are here to help with your collections documentation needs. You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 12,800 square foot McFaddin-Ward House is absolutely worth a visit if you should find yourself in Beaumont, Texas. This striking southeast Texas landmark is a classic “oil boom” Beaux-Arts Colonial style mansion, built in 1905-1906. It remains furnished largely with original pieces from the McFaddin and Ward (a daughter of the McFaddins) families. Take a tour through the house with one of the well-informed docents, then stroll around the nine acres of gardens!
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We thank you deeply and wish you all good health,