If you are serious about recording your heritage then the HumanitiesCMD is ideal documentation and management tool for you - recording full documentation, images and supporting documents. The scope is to record anything made by people - yes, anything.
Anything made by a person, or people, can be documented using the concept of Producer, Description and Management.
A Producer can be an artist, photographer, maker, creator, . . . an individual, group of people, a business, . . .
Description includes what is it made of, it's size, what is it called, . . . artwork, furniture, clothing, photograph, . . . in fact anything can be described.
Management being how you got the item, where is it stored, what condition is it in, . . .
The HumanitiesCMD is ideal for museums, national collections, provincial / state collections, city / municipal collections, corporate / business collections, universities, private collectors, . . .
The HumanitiesCMD can be used as a simple inventory system, or an extensive research tool.
- Concept: this product is a fully relational database that uses the concept that anything made by a human, or humans, can be documented using a producer, description and management approach. An added global, or conceptual feature of the database is it's ability to accommodate any type of collection, whether a collection of items where each producer is known, or a collection of items that have no producers at all. In other words, the database can be item-centric, or producer-centric, or both.
- Scope: anything from a shoe to a work of art, a chair to a photograph ... each has a producer (an individual, a group of people, an organisation, etc); it can also be described (size, materials, etc) and it can be managed (purchased, donated, stored, etc).
- Approach: the database uses the concept of core and specific documentation, i.e. there are certain categories that record core information (i.e. name of the item, name of producer, etc), but there is also specific information (exact measurements, biographical details, etc). The database accommodates this by storing core information and relating specific information when necessary.
The Switchboard appears after you have entered your username / password and guides you to the main features and functionality. Over the last couple of years Logos Flow has been observing how user interact with the various database products. For new users, it is normally about adding, editing and easily finding information they have captured. For experienced users, it is about quickly locating information and performing various tasks such as networking, updating, printing, etc. The Switchboard has been upgraded to accommodate these requirements:
- Start: lets you immediately capture a new record and shows the number of records captured in the main sections.
- Global Search:
You can click to access the data or use the Global Search feature to locate information according to the criteria you enter. Now it searches the virtually the entire database according to the text you enter. Results are displayed in sections of the database and the number of matches according to the text you entered. You can click on a result to be taken directly to the relevant section. All fields with an orange outline are part of the global search.
- Backups: the importance cannot be over-stated and there is now a detailed guide to backing up your data.
- Support: access the continuously updated online support directly.
As an Administrator you can now control how the Management information is accessed. All access is Read Only - the user will not be able to add / edit any Management information.
- Control Management and Items ID checks: as you move between Item Description records there is a check to see if a Management record also exists. If not, you receive a notification message. There is also a check confirming a change to the Item ID. While these checks are useful they can be annoying - you can now switch them on and off as required.
- Last Items IDs: when capturing items a collection you need to enter an Item ID - a unique ID for the item. Item IDs vary considerably and use letters, symbols and number. As the IDs are not necessarily sequential it is difficult to keep track of the last Item ID added or edited.
- Networking: much easier access to network your database if you are using one. This feature used to be called 'Update Data Source' which was not so easy to locate - now it is easily available.
- Website: access the Logos Flow website.
- Description of an Item:
A large number of categories are available to record descriptive information about an item, such as: title, type, physical description, measurements, medium, keywords, dates, etc. There are 2 new features to record Themes and Categories centrally. These can be inserted into the Item Description.
- Producer details: these include identity, dates, geographical location, biographical details, cultural classification, etc.
- Management details: there are a number of management features available such as: provenance, documentation and verification details, administrative information, storage details, condition, stock-taking history, expenses relating to each item, price paid, de-accessioning, etc.
- Global management details: these include features that track the management of the entire collection, such as: all items documented, verified, requiring conservation, ready to be displayed, etc. Including total cost of the collection, total evaluation, etc.
- Quick Capture Wizard: let this wizard guide you through adding information to the database if you are a new user. If you are an experienced user, use this to add information to the database very quickly. This feature has been enhanced from previous versions: you can now send links to images and capture additional data.
- Quick Capture: is a simplified user interface to record the basic documentation of an item. This is done from one 'place' instead of opening up various forms. This means the Item Description, Management and associated Producers can all be recorded from one interface. You can also quickly associate images or click through full Description or Management details. Quick Capture Settings lets you control any Description and Management field on the Quick Capture form by simply selecting which is enabled or not. Quick Capture functions differently to the Quick Capture Wizard as you work directly with the data.
- General search: this component serves a number of functions but essentially offers quick access to the information where you can see producer, item and management details in one place. There is the choice of switching on the image viewer to see images linked to an item as you are browsing through your records. This component is normally for viewing information but you can also switch to edit mode.
- Lookup item and producer wizards: both offer quick access to items and producers already on the database - you simply scroll up and down various lists or use the quick lookup features. You can also instantly link to full documentation as well. These wizards are also useful if you are unfamiliar with the product but need to access the information without knowledge of finding and filtering techniques.
- Hyperlinks and images: the hyperlinks feature is found throughout the database which offer linking to images, documents, spreadsheets, the Internet, audio files, etc. This truly turns your database into the nerve centre of managing your stock as literally any file can be linked. Also the files are stored outside the database, which means you can link to DVDs, CDs, external hard drives or folder on your computer / server. This means your database is never cluttered with large files. Regarding images:
- if a link is made to an image it can be viewed as a thumbnail, clipped, zoomed, opened in your image editing program ... all from within the database
- set the orientation is the image: portrait or landscape
- select the main image (i.e. for reports and your website / intranet)
- if you have setup an image bank and use the Item ID to guide your file naming, you can instantly create links to your images
- check the path and file is correct from within the database
- Hyperlink thumbnails: this feature creates a thumbnail of images linked to an object - as you move through the collection the thumbnail is automatically refreshed.
- Media: this feature is for documenting a variety of media associated with an item; for example: you might have a collection of films and have made digital copies (to prolong the life of the original). You can now record the details of the digital copies (such as type, unique ID, storatge, etc.); plus, create a shot list of the content.
- Research: various research details can be stored that relate to an item (researcher, dates, abstract, additional texts, etc).
- Interviews: if you are documenting various interviews, transcripts, etc. then this component is ideal. You can record details of the interviewer, dates, summaries, notes, etc.
- Individual and grouped items: the database records how items may be grouped - say a cup is part of a tea set - you can record information about the set and related each item to the set.
- Exhibition and display of items: the database records the item's exhibition or display history - you can record details about the exhibition and relate each item to the exhibition. Plus, a component that lets you store texts relating to each exhibition (i.e. opening talks, speeches, catalogue texts, etc.).
- Literature: the database has a feature to store information regarding the books and journals (including newspapers, magazines, etc) that can be related to the various producers and items. Even individual page numbers can be recorded for quick referencing.
- Other IDs: although there existing sections to record identification numbers (Item ID and Coll / Class ID) additional ones can be recorded - useful to keep a history of identification.
- Publication History: keep a record of the item's publication history that includes who / when authorised, photographer, publisher and date, ... including a link to any documents, websites or images - and contact details.
- Notes: there are a number of areas where you can keep additional documentation and management notes.
- Currency: this feature lets you determine the currency of the database (this is normally set by the currency settings on your computer). This feature is ideal if you are managing collections that require different currency settings.
- ID tracker: the Item ID tracker can be used to record any type of numbering system your organisation uses to uniquely identify each item in your collection. Useful when you need to remember the last Item ID used.
- Conservation: various ways in which the condition of an item can be monitored and recorded, including links to notes, images and documents that record various stages of conservation.
Both internal and external movement of an item can be recorded and archived; i.e. moved from it's permanent storage for research purposes (internal) or on loan for an exhibition (external). You can also instantly see which items are out of their permanent storage and link to Contact information (telephone, address, etc.). Now you can place a reserve on an Item and enter the reserve expiry date.
- Contacts and addresses: record contact, address, telephone, fax, email and Internet details and link this information where relevant; i.e. producer, on loan, provenance, etc.
There are a number of report and print options such as registration forms, condition reports, application for loan and loan agreement forms, item details with an image, etc. The upgrade includes switching fields and sub-forms on / off and a many more sorting options.
- Lists and labels:
For when you need labels to place next on the actual items on display, or quickly create a list from a public enquiry? You can also easily print a report and preview a report before it is printed. In the latest version there are many more report options.
- Report headings: this product stores report headings for you which you can use in the future without re-typing.
- Website and Intranet exports: this product includes an export option that manages which items appear on a website or Intranet. Only certain data is exported so, for security reasons, more sensitive information (i.e. clients, financial, etc.) is never placed on an Internet / Intranet server. Regarding how Items are utilised on a website / Intranet, you can also:
Contact Logos Flow for further details about getting your information to a broader audience - and updating it yourself!
- indicate which are highlighted items (i.e. appear on a home / front page)
- set the order of highlighted items
- Exporting: a number of exporting options are available, whether you need to generate a document to be sent as an email attachment, or export the entire database to a spreadsheet ... and more.
- Merging: prefer to create your own reports?
Although there are a variety of print and export options, these are limited in what is displayed and how it is displayed. With the merging feature, you can choose not only what to display but how it is displayed. Merging functions with any product with merging options, for example: Microsoft® Word. Utilising this feature is not difficult but you will need to know how to merge with data.
Documentation and Management
Computerisation has dramatically changed this and most collections are either computerised or in the process of becoming so. Click here to read more about how to go about this.
Some information about types of collections, computerising, documenting, accessing, and more . . . click here