Creating a Collections Cataloging Manual

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Arrowhead or projectile point? Inches or centimeters? Circa or ca.? If you’ve ever torn your hair out about data inconsistency across your collections management system, creating a cataloging manual is a great first step toward gaining better intellectual control over your art, artifact, and object collections.

We’ll start with the why, helping you articulate to colleagues and leadership how a cataloging manual will improve things for everyone. Next we’ll explore data structure, value, and content standards - helping you decide which information to capture, how to format it, and what sources to use. Finally, we’ll look at formatting - what’s the best way to get your information across so that catalogers can easily find it and use it? Resource lists and sample manuals will be provided for all attendees.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the session, participants should be able to:

Understand why cataloging standards are important, and be able to share that understanding with leadership and colleagues
Learn the difference among data structure, value, and content standards, and how to choose the right ones for their collections
Evaluate formatting and style choices for manuals to ensure they get the best use once created

Instructor: Megan Forbes

Megan provides strategic management for CollectionSpace, an open source, web-based collection information management system for museums. She leads the day-to-day operations of the CollectionSpace organizational home, including release planning, community outreach, and coordination with other LYRASIS programs. Megan has been a part of the CollectionSpace team since its inception in 2008 and holds deep knowledge of the system and its functional design. Megan also serves as the Co-Director of the It Takes a Village: OSS Sustainability Models of Collaboration & Sustainability project. She has an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a BA in Economics and History from Emory University.

Museum; Historical Society / Site; Special collections
This webinar is presented in Eastern time.

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