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Subject: Database and software for conservation records

Database and software for conservation records

From: Karen Potje <kpotje>
Date: Monday, November 22, 2004
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) has been waiting for
several years for the implementation of The Museum System
collections database and now expects to start transferring data to
it early in 2005.  But there will be no conservation documentation
component available at the beginning:  my department is told we will
be part of a second phase of implementation.  Meanwhile, we continue
to use Filemaker Pro as our conservation documentation database.  We
have developed a pretty efficient database, which is shared by the
registrar, exhibitions planning department, and conservation
services.  We are very happy with Filemaker Pro - it's an extremely
user-friendly production tool for us.  The three departments that
share it can use it to generate anything from lender lists and
exhibition labels to exhibition histories, condition reports, and
treatment proposals. It's very flexible, allowing us to adapt our
standard record formats to the needs of individual exhibitions, and
permitting us to sort and find all kinds of data.  We also use it
for condition documentation for the permanent collection, even when
we are working on objects outside the context of exhibitions.

At this time we do not have a web-accessible version or variant of
Filemaker Pro and this is something that the CCA now wants because
so many exhibitions are planned with the help of outside curators.
We also need to be able to insert images of objects.

>From what we hear, the Museum System will not have the flexibility
and ease of use that we need.  We seem to be fighting a losing
battle in our efforts to get our information services department to
support Filemaker Pro instead of forcing a less flexible system on
us. I'm trying to locate any institutional conservation departments
that can give us information on how the Museum System fares as a
tool for conservation documentation or can back us up as fellow
Filemaker-Pro users.

Karen Potje
Head, Conservation/Preservation Department
Canadian Centre for Architecture

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:24
               Distributed: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-24-017
Received on Monday, 22 November, 2004

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