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Organizing museum books

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    • #131719
      Judy Knight

      My historic house museum holds old books from significant pioneers that are artifacts and listed on our past perfect database. But we also have a number of books both “old” (used as props, nice for exhibit but no connection to pioneers) and “newer” books (consulted for historical reference and/or museum care topics). Are there guidelines on how to organize the books and pamphlets we don’t want to put on past-perfect so we can find them again? Alphabetically by author’s name? By topic? By title? By a numbering system? Right now most of our books that aren’t on display are stored together, artifact books mixed with prop books and museum reference books. We know the artifacts should be separated from the others so that job will begin soon. Any advice would be appreciated. Should a professional librarian volunteer be recruited or would that be frustrating to all?

    • #131721
      Ron Kley

      I know of several organizations, using PastPerfect, that have combined artifacts (including books of historical significance, reference “library” books, and some books maintained and used as visual “props” into a single database for tracking purposes, incororating an “L” or a “P” as a leading character in the ObjectID field to differentiate the non-artifactual books from those that are components of the formal collection. It’s not an elegant solution, but it works.

    • #131720
      Rebecca Elder

      Judy, if you’re anywhere near a library school, figuring out that system and setting you up with a procedure might be an excellent student project.

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