Creating Object Labels with PastPerfect

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    • #131759

      We are a small local historical society that just recently purchased PastPerfect software. We have entered in about 50 items so far. But now we want to create labels to attach to each object. I don’t necessarily want to create an exhibit. Our museum has not changed since its conception in 1967. So our main goal is just to catalog what we have and attach a label. Creating exhibits are in our future. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      It has been a struggle to get the members to spend the money on the program, so I want to show them to relieve their fears about spending the money.

      Thank you

    • #131762
      Becca DuBey

      Dear Debbie,
      Let me start by saying you have made a wise decision; I love using Past Perfect for cataloging. If you have purchased PP 5, label making can be very easy. The object here is to affix the Object ID number to the artifact and be able to remove it without damaging the artifact. I make a list in PP of all the Object ID numbers I want to use (see the manual for making Catalog lists), then I export to Excel. Once in Excel, I use just the number and title column convert to Times New Roman, font size 8,and select Print Borders before printing the list. I keep the title and number together when separating the numbers from each other, cutting only 1/2 way between the title and its number. Then apply a swatch of Acryloid in Acetone B-72 either to the number or the object, let it dry to tackiness (a few seconds), press the number into place, and while holding it down with your finger, gently tear the title away. When dry, add a top coat. It is very neat, easy to read, and quick. Do not use nail polish!!! Place the label in an out of the way, yet accessible position on the object where it will not accidentally get rubbed off. Some museums start a log of where certain types of objects are labeled for consistency. If you’ve made a mistake, the label is easily removed with acetone, which you want to keep on hand. I get my B-72 from Gaylord Brothers. You want to use the Acryloid B-72 in Acetone. Practice first and you will get the hang of it!

    • #131761
      Janean Van Beckum

      Hi Debbie,

      I second everything Becca said. I just wanted to extend to you an invitation to come see how we use PastPerfect and label our collections, we aren’t far, West Bend, if you want to see how another institution does it. We have been around since 1935 and there have been several methods used over the years. I would be more than happy to show you around. Just drop me a line if you are interested at

    • #131760
      Sharon McCullar

      Hello all,

      I think I read the question differently – but here is my 2 cents worth. If you are looking to create quick and easy labels to go next to an object on display, not on the actual object for tracking purposes, a quick and easy way to to do is to pull up the record for your item, click Print and Print the option for Catalog Card Style#1. If that has too much information on it, it is not difficult to modify the output in the Reports menu. I believe one of the tutorials that came with our PP5 installation CD’s does a good job showing the process. The manual also has step by step directions for how to remove fields from such a report. Also, PastPerfect support is always incredibly helpful and patient – well worth the yearly fee!!
      Good luck!
      Sharon McCullar
      Curator of Collections
      Lakeshore Museum Center
      Muskegon Michigan

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