Happy New Year! We are excited to tell you about a couple of changes that will make your work easier and more efficient. Last month we rolled out our new “Transcription” expansion panel and our enhanced “General Notes” field. Our publication classifications now include a comprehensive transcription expansion panel to allow users to transcribe all or part or their books, documents, postcards, and other published materials in one or more languages. We have also enhanced the “General Notes” field to make it repeating and include a “note type” profile field so you can define what your notes are about. Now, you can separate your notes into more than one field, based on their purpose, to help you better organize your entries.
We have also created a new seven-part video tutorial series for our Museum users. With topics from accessioning to loans to profiles to web publishing, these tutorials illustrate the main features of a CatalogIt Museum account. Visit www.catalogit.app/museum-demo to view the videos.
We at CatalogIt continually look for ways to make your work more efficient, your data even more secure and enhance your enjoyment of managing your collections. Over the past year we made many product and security enhancements to do just that. Here is a select list of some of what we accomplished in 2020:
We’re capacity builders. We have created new features to support you in your professional goals:
Our goal is to have the most comprehensive and authoritative classifications allowing you to thoroughly and thoughtfully document everything in your collection. We are always working to add more classifications to help you document the things you have. Classifications added this year:
As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, ephemera includes “items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.” Ephemera is also something most of us have in our houses, museums and collections. Ranging from historic letters to newspaper clippings and old birth certificates to movie tickets - we have a lot of it and we need an easy way to organize and catalog it.
You are in luck - whether you are a museum registrar or a collector, an archivist or a family historian, CatalogIt can help you easily document and catalog your ephemeral collections. Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. I recently inherited boxes of family letters, documents, death and birth certificates and report cards from every child in my family going back almost 100 years. Getting started on organizing this collection of related yet varied material is daunting. To learn more about how to catalog ephemeral collections, please take a look at our recent blog post.
Managed by a team of selfless, highly engaged volunteers, the British Columbia Farm Museum, located in Fort Langley, BC, holds the largest collection of pioneer and agricultural artifacts in the province. The institution’s collections began in 1953 with the donation of a single high-cut walking hand plow and have evolved to include thousands of items ranging from farming equipment to pioneer artifacts including antique engines, tractors, covered wagons, and other inventions of the era.
It’s only appropriate that an institution devoted to farming and pioneer innovations would experiment with the latest museum technologies. Over the years, the BC Farm Museum has enthusiastically adopted QR codes, created YouTube videos, and leveraged Facebook to improve efficiency and establish a digital presence. As part of its digital journey, the Farm Museum adopted CatalogIt this past August, and we’re honored to have them as a client!
Happy New Year! My name is Howard and I’m one of the founders of CatalogIt. If you’ve had technical questions or issues with CatalogIt then you’ve most likely interacted with me -- I’m one of the technical folks behind the product. With a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, I’ve been building software my entire career. I’ve had the fortune to work at both small startups and large enterprise companies. In fact, it was my seven years at CBS Interactive which I attribute to the foundation and inspiration behind CatalogIt. I was a member of their data and catalog team and got exposed to all things ontology, taxonomy, open source, and standards-based. After having become engaged with ethnographic collectors, I had a hunch some of this technology would be particularly germain to their unique challenges -- flexibility, handling complexity, and speaking the details of what they were cataloging. I also strongly believed it should be no more complicated to start a new Entry than it is to create an Instagram post- the app needed to be delightful to use, intuitive, and mobile first. After many evenings and weekends it started to come together and has continued to gather momentum ever since. I’m very proud of the app and infrastructure we’ve created (stay tuned for a future blog post that explores that) and I’m excited about all the great things it’s going to allow us to do as we continue on this journey.
During the early days of CatalogIt’s development when we were working on image capture and ironing out the kinks in uploading photos, I would stop at the same place daily on my commute, create a new Moment entry with a photo of the same view looking across the water at the skyline and a note of what was on my mind that day. It created a nice “diary” over time and it’s been really fun to look back at how the same view changes with the seasons. The modeling system CatalogIt is built with is incredibly flexible. Ontologies (i.e. classifications) are descriptions of concepts and relationships pertaining to a specific subject. The Moment classification allows you to capture a photo with a description and the details of the subject’s people and places. It’s a great way to document events that fall outside typical “cataloging” in your day to day routine. In a more typical use-case, however, whenever I’m with my mom we use CatalogIt together to document all her antiques and the things I grew up with but had no idea what their story was and how they came to be. I’ve learned all kinds of fascinating things about these objects-- I now know their story. At 90, however, it doesn’t take long for my mom to just say “write down anything you want” which is my clue that we’ve done enough cataloging for the moment.
In my spare time, which CatalogIt ensures is almost non-existent, I enjoy cooking, doing all kinds of projects, staying current with technology, traveling, and entertaining my two cats.
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