Last week when we ran our quarterly export to Past Perfect on-line database we hit the 60,000 record mark! What does that mean? Well, aside from the fact that we need to ask our good friends at PastPerfect to increase our capacity it means that you, our members and researchers, can view 60,000 artifacts from our collection from the comfort of your own home (or office).
All you need to do is log onto our website and click on the Collections and Exhibitions tab and then the “search the collections online tab” which will bring you to our on-line database. Once you are here you can enter the object ID number (if you know exactly what you are looking for) or enter a search term to see what comes up.
If you are doing research, searching the database is a great first step. You will be able to determine which items and records you need to see when you come to the museum. This saves both you and the staff a lot of time! Of course, you will still want to check in with our staff to find out if we have artifacts that are not currently on the database. (We’re really good at finding stuff, and helping you come up with different search terms and other approaches to the topic.)
If your topic is Baltimore-specific, you might try SearchBaltimore.PastPerfect-onlinecom. This will enable you to simultaneously search our database along with the Baltimore Museum of Industry and Johns Hopkins campus Collections! How cool is that?!
Another fun feature is the Random Images search. If you are just dawdling and procrastinating—or you want to get a general idea of the extent of our collections, this will pull up 30 images from our collection—a combination of objects, photos and archives will come up. From there you can click on any image and pull up the catalog record to learn more about it. The only “problem” with this feature is that it is totally random, so you might want to write down the accession number of any image that you are interested in, since it won’t necessarily be on the screen the next time you pull up random images.
Our on-line database is only updated 3-4 times a year (it’s an all day process and the staff cant use the database during the export), so please check with staff for the most current information about our collections.
We’re always grateful when our members and researchers point out missing information,so if you recognizesomeone in a photograph or, horror of horrors you discover a typographical error, please let us know!
A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.