‘Strong progress’ in adding artefacts to electronic archive

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum registrar Claire Orbell examines an Edwardian blue silk wedding dress...
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum registrar Claire Orbell examines an Edwardian blue silk wedding dress, worn at a wedding in 1907. Photo: Linda Robertson
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum staff have been making "strong progress" in adding previously unrecorded artefacts to the museum’s electronic catalogue, acting director Cam McCracken says.

Mr McCracken, who also directs the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, outlined progress with the project at a recent meeting of the museum board.

Many Toitu staff, backed by volunteers, have switched their focus from other tasks, including creating new exhibitions, in order to catch up on a backlog of artefacts to enter into the museum’s Vernon electronic catalogue system.

Mr McCracken said that about 4000 items which had arrived since 2013 were part of the overall cataloguing backlog.

Many other items in the museum’s clothing and textile store and some items in the archives section were also yet to be added to the museum’s modern catalogue.

Among the "discoveries" made in the clothing and textile facility this week was a blue Edwardian wedding dress, which had been given to the museum in the 1990s but  had not  been added to the electronic records.

In a recent board report, Mr McCracken said that 1124 new records had been added to the museum’s electronic system in August-September.

Social history museums often had backlogs of artefacts to be formally added to a modern catalogue system.

The Toitu catalogue would be fully updated after about a year of intensive behind-the-scenes effort, he said. 

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