You may have noticed that, when choosing the Classification for a new Entry, there is a Classification called “Moment.” We created this for the purpose of capturing moments in time, rather than objects, and enjoy hearing the various unique ways it gets used. For example, one of our historic house clients used Moment to create a record of their recent Mother’s Day Tea- they photo-documented the elaborate table settings they created for the event, the food items served, as well as the costuming of the staff and the guests. Another museum client uses it to record volunteer projects- before, during and after. These CatalogIt records make it much easier for staff to put together their institution’s quarterly newsletter, FB or Instagram posts or blogs.
For our CatalogIt Personal account users, a Moment can be used to document events such as a vacation which led to the acquisition of items in your collection. For example, a particularly notable side trip- that tour to the pyramids at Teotihuacan, the tequila tasting and delicious lunch, and the artisan workshop where you bought that reproduction obsidian bowl. Keep track of the events and experiences that are part of the pleasure and journey of building your collection!
In cataloging your things, you probably have your own definition of what the minimum requirements are. For me, the bare minimum is a couple of pictures and the measurements. I try to capture the front and back of 2-d objects and the top, bottom, front, and back of 3-d objects. If there is a label, maker’s mark, signature or any other important feature, I take a picture of that as well. If you take measurements at the same time, you are doing right by your objects- handling them as little as possible.
Once you’ve got these basic things in your record, you are well on your way to fully cataloging it. You can usually put the item back where it belongs and add to the record later. I’ve found that having my phone or tablet next to me while working on the desktop computer is really handy- I can use the phone or tablet to zoom in on my photos while I’m adding to the record- studying the details and recording them in CatalogIt.
I’ve also found that I’ll look at my account from my phone when I have some down time- sitting on the train, waiting at the dentist’s office, or with my morning coffee. I can go into one of the records and add a little more data on the fly- maybe beef up the description, add the materials, note the maker, do some Web research. Little by little, Entries get better and better documented.
The Mono Basin History Museum opened for the season earlier this month, and it is well worth a visit! It’s located in a truly dramatic setting, in the small town of Lee Vining, situated at the base of the towering eastern slopes of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, just west of historically and environmentally notable Mono Lake. At the Museum you’ll learn about the Paiute people who have lived in the area for thousands of years as well as the rich history of mining, homesteading and ranching in the Mono Basin. A visit to the museum wouldn’t be complete without also touring the world-famous Upside Down House!
CatalogIt is proud to again be sponsoring the Annual Meeting of the Conference of California Historical Societies. This year’s event will be June 20-22 in Placerville, once known as “Hangtown” due to its early reputation for vigilante justice, in the heart of California’s gold country. The Annual Meeting features a number of valuable workshops interspersed with tours of some of the area’s myriad historical sites. For all of you historical organizations in California, we highly recommend membership in the CCHS. You don’t need to be a member to attend the Meeting, however- come, learn, and make connections with your fellow historical groups from across the state.
Our deep thanks to all of you, and keep on cataloging!
The CatalogIt Team