Collections Management: Updating, Updating……And A Little More Updating

Over the past month the two major tasks I have concentrated on are entering missing artifact document information into PastPerfect and inventorying various collections within the museum’s holding.

“Everything is progressing…BUT”

My supervisor laughs every time I step into his office because he knows these will be the first words out of my mouth because I am finding mistakes within the Missouri Civil War Museum’s collection records that need correction. While working on my special project I documented every missing Deed of Gift so my supervisor could either find it or contact the donor who sent the item to sign a form again. After completing my special project my supervisor found multiple missing Deed of Gift forms for me to catalog into PastPerfect. This institution’s records are slowly but surely becoming accurate and complete.

In addition to entering missing artifact information I decided to take on the project of locating a photograph of each object and placing it into PastPerfect, so that when each file comes up a picture of the item will appear as well. Some artifacts do not have a picture so I am looking through all of the museum’s digital files, and if there are no images of a specific artifact then I will let my supervisor know to take a photograph at a future date. I hope to have a photograph for every item in the museum’s approximate 2,000 artifact collection before my internship ends.

I know this sounds difficult with all of my other duties and projects to complete in three weeks, but I am up for the challenge!

While diligently trying to complete and update the Missouri Civil War Museum’s entire artifact record I am inventorying various collections. I recently finished a large portion of the museum’s uniform collection, and am currently inventorying Civil War era coins. The images on these coins are just as detailed and exquisite as present-day United States currency!

After inventorying each artifact I look back at its PastPerfect file to add a detailed description as well as a condition report. These reports can help future staff easily identify each object as well as know what physical state it is in. My supervisor has expressed his gratitude for all of the work I am doing and how it helps the Missouri Civil War Museum stay efficient and accountable. This internship definitely puts my collections management and multi-tasking skills to good use.

Using my skills and letting them do their magic!

I continue to perform my other duties, such as managing the front administrative desk, gift shop, document every book donation that comes to the museum, and any other task the Executive Director gives me.

I cannot believe that my internship at the Missouri Civil War Museum ends in less than a month. This internship gave me a glimpse of what it takes to effectively manage a 501c3 non-profit museum, which will help me in my career as a museum professional. The projects I managed and assisted in are small ways in which I am leaving my mark on this institution. The Missouri Civil War Museum will have current, standardized artifact records that staff can use and follow when updating or creating new ones.

Check back to see how I spend my final days at the Missouri Civil War Museum!

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