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Museum Basics - Documentation Nigel Monaghan National Museum of Ireland.

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Presentation on theme: "Museum Basics - Documentation Nigel Monaghan National Museum of Ireland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Museum Basics - Documentation Nigel Monaghan National Museum of Ireland

2 Cabinet of Curiosties 1599 Ferrante Imperato’s museum, Naples

3 Cabinet of Curiosities 1655 Olaus Worm’s museum, Leiden

4 Systematic Collecting World Travel 19th Century Growth Increasing focus Classification Access for researchers Public Access

5 Documentation for Museums Large Collections Grave to Cradle Process Many Uses –Obtain Resources –Plan Resources –Security –Care –Services

6 Object Life Cycle Entry Acquisition Accession Catalogue Move Loan Condition Report Conservation Photography Exhibition Disposal Exit

7 Object Life Cycle - Policies Entry Acquisition Accession Catalogue Move Loan Condition Report Conservation Photography Exhibition Disposal Exit

8 Entry Write it down NOW!

9 Acquisition The process of taking possession of property –Why have you got it? –Should you have it? –Who owns it? –Is it insured? –Are you keeping it? –Is it a “museum object”?

10 Accession The process of adding an object to the museum collection Transfer of Title –Secure the ownership Register the Object –Issue a number –Record basic details –Capture information Issue receipt –Terms and conditions –Copyright

11 Numbering your Accessions Museum code –Puts you in control of your own unique set of numbers NMINH = National Museum of Ireland Natural History One main number per item NMINH : –Sub-numbers for parts of an object NMINH : Mark the number on the object

12 Documentation - Registers Permanent record Filed safely Copied Copies –Microfilm –Photocopy –Store off-site

13 Documentation - Marks Direct on object Ink, pencil, chalk Issues –Permanence –Adherence –Handwriting

14 Documentation - Labels Stay with objects Hold most data Catalogue number Links to other data

15 Label Types Tags - tied to object Labels - loose Labels - glued to object Tablets - object glued on

16 Materials Paper and card Acid free Buffered Testing Inks Wet (Indian ink) Dry (laser copier)

17 Publications & Archives

18 Inventory/Moves Has it got a home? –Accommodation Is it at home? –Inventory –Movement control It’s not there! –Loan? –Conservation? –Loss? –Temporary/Permanent? –Report, to whom?

19 Loans Loans-in/out –Policy –Form(s) Dates in/out Terms Conditions –Condition Reports –Who is in charge? –Facilities Reports Facilities Reports –Security Personnel Alarms Locks –Environment Monitored? Managed? Stable? –Specific to Object

20 Condition Reports What state is it in? Static –Broken –Complete –Faded –Dirty Active –Infested

21 Conservation Before After

22 Conservation What does it need? –Environment –Treatment What has been done? –Cleaning –Repair –Mounting –Replication

23 Photography Reference No. Date Person Format Image store Copyright –Photographer –Permission

24 Exhibition Increases demand for information –Published catalogue –Publicity Activities –Location control –Measurement –Photography

25 Deaccession, Disposal, Exit Have we got a clear written policy? –Make submission –Clarify reasons –Clarify ownership –Record object details –Offer to other museums –Sell/skip

26 Documentation - Catalogues A catalogue is a structured set of data that describes a museum collection The purpose of a museum catalogue is to convey information about objects to a variety of users. –General public –Learned public –Staff/managers

27 Documentation - Catalogues Item entry Catalogue numbers

28

29 Catalogues - Records

30 Catalogues - Fields NumberNMIAA : LocalityBalline, Co. Limerick PeriodIron Age Datelate fourth century BC ManufactureRomano-British InscriptionEX OFFI ISATIS ; EX OFC VILIS ; EX O NONT PublicationÓ Ríordáin 1947 ; Macalister 1949 ; Bateson 1973 ; Raftery 1994 DescriptionFour cow-hide-shaped silver ingots and cut plate Number of items5

31 Catalogues - Terminology bequest gift loan purchase transfer untraced find How did we get it?

32 Catalogues - Terminology Gift Bequest Contribution Donation Endowment Offering Presentation Present

33 Terminology - Room Codes

34 Catalogues - Syntax Dates: today 28 Sep th September /9/2013 9/28/

35 Catalogues - Automation Find it fast Multiple copies Sharing Security Safety Permanence

36 Documentation - Backlogs Step by step process Mark, label, record Reconcile

37 Collections Trust Was MDA until 2008 The UK Museum Documentation Standard (now free) Guides Thesauri Collections Trust WC2 09 Natural History Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD HELPhttp://www.collectionstrust.org.uk

38 1 Pre-entry Object entry Loans in Acquisition Inventory control Location movement control Transport Cataloguing Object condition checking and technical assessment Conservation and collections care

39 2 Risk management Insurance and indemnity management Valuation control Audit Rights management Use of collections Object exit Loans out Loss and damage Deaccession and disposal Retrospective documentation

40 Documentation: A Practical Guide By Margaret Harrison and Gordon McKenna Price: £24.99 ISBN:


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