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Retrofitting Accession #s with PastPerfect

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Becca DuBey 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #131527

    Bronwyn Eves
    Member

    Just started working with an archive that includes personal papers, objects, paintings and photographs. Several different people have worked on the archive/collection over the decades. Record groups were established and paper finding aids were created for many of the personal papers. Most items (and groups of items) do not have accession records or object ids. A few hundred items have been assigned object ids and have been catalogued in PastPerfect.

    I am planning on cataloging the entire collection in PastPerfect and I am trying to leverage the work previously done. First issue: My inclination is to come up with a scheme to assign acc #s to everything so that we know what we have in the collection. Has anyone dealt with this issue and have advice?

  • #131722

    MGP
    Member

    Just started working with an archive that includes personal papers, objects, paintings and photographs. Several different people have worked on the archive/collection over the decades. Record groups were established and paper finding aids were created for many of the personal papers. Most items (and groups of items) do not have accession records or object ids. A few hundred items have been assigned object ids and have been catalogued in PastPerfect.

    I am planning on cataloging the entire collection in PastPerfect and I am trying to leverage the work previously done. First issue: My inclination is to come up with a scheme to assign acc #s to everything so that we know what we have in the collection. Has anyone dealt with this issue and have advice?

  • #131724

    Becca DuBey
    Member

    Hello MGP,
    Past Perfect is excellent when you finally want to catalog the entire archive collection. I suggest you read the chapter on Archives carefully, it is quite different from the other catalogs. While leaving what has already been cataloged in place, you can very simply add to the end of the object ID numbers used, and link to the collection either by using the container list, or by multi-level linking(button on right of screen.) Be sure to record the location, that will be a big help, and you can also link items together by using the Relationship screen, along the left side of the screen. I have used a single object ID to cover the entire collection, then add ID numbers as I find specific items that are especially important to the collection. It need not be in any order, but be sure to record the location, even down to the folder, and to record subjects and people. HINT: before doing anything, download the trail version and use that file, not your museum file, to learn how to use PP components like the multi-level linking and the container list. You can leave the trial version on your computer and use it to test our new things you’re learning. Write back if you need more help. And don’t forget the Knowledge Base on their website, and that you can always call them with questions, they are very friendly and easy to talk to.

  • #131723

    Sharon McCullar
    Participant

    I concur with using a simple object ID system built on the basic assigned Accession # system. The PastPerfect Archives catalog record is very different from the other catalogs, but once you read through the manual and the examples in the Knowledge Base it is not hard to understand and set up.
    I also advocate the use of separate object IDs for those items that stand alone in the collection, using the Objects or Photos catalog to create records for those items.
    Numbers are cheap and the most important thing is to relate back to the correct paper file, home storage location and know that the Object ID is with the collection in a meaningful manner.
    I create my paper finding aid on paper first and hammer out all the kinks, then arrange the collection into its physical order. Then it is pretty straightforward to input it all in PastPerfect.

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