Cataloguing in Gippsland

Musings of a Cataloguer at Large in Gippsland. Just personal thoughts - absolutely no bearing on the thoughts of any organisation with which I am working.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Friday, November 22, 2013

News from the Centre for Gippsland Studies

 A most excellent Disaster Management workshop was held today at the Centre for Gippsland Studies, at what is about to become Federation University. Shown above are Bruce McMaster (Morwell Hist Soc), Graham Goulding (Moe Hist Soc and secretary of Gippsland Affiliated Historical Societies), Dr Harry Ballis (rear, incoming head of FedUni Gippsland), Dr Julie Fenley (Centre for Gippsland Studies), Russell Northe MP and Duncan Rolley from Artifact Conservation.

Dr Ballis was there to outline plans for an expansion of the Centre for Gippsland Studies - which sound very promising and exciting. A draft document is currently being prepared, which will be released for public comment in the near future. This will then provide us with the opportunity to point out just how important the future of the Centre is to us.


 The day was otherwise a mix of theory and hands-on from Duncan and Tina Rolley of Artifact Conservation - in this case, above, Tina is demonstrating the removal of staples from old documents, before sewing them in an approved manner with approved (and easily obtainable) materials

Above - Tina demonstrating recovery of wet photographs. 

People attended from as far apart as Walhalla, Drouin, Stratford and Leongatha - with a fair few in between. It was a most enjoyable day - many, many thanks to Dr Julie Fenley from the Centre for Gippsland Studies for her commitment to regional history and collections.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Notes Available from Morwell Meeting

We had an excellent meeting of the Gippsland Cataloguing Network at Morwell on 25 September - thank you to Morwell for the venue at short notice. And thank you everyone for deciding to come at such short notice. Any later and we would have been into Christmas.

The next meeting will probably be on Saturday 15 March 2014, split between Yarram and the Gippsland Maritime Museum at Port Albert. More details closer to the time.

Notes are available from the Morwell meeting - if you have not already received a copy, feel free to drop me an e-mail at kapana [at]

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some Definitions

I am working on some basic definitions, as I think a few people around me are getting confused. Have you got any that should be added to the list? I'm no expert, so rewording for these is most welcome!

Database: A structured set of data held in a computer, especially one that is accessible in various ways.

In historical societies we can have a number of databases - of names with supporting information, of information about buildings, dates, addresses, or of objects/items.

Catalogue: A specialist database of objects/items, and information about them. Each item/object has its own information set, and usually a unique number.

It does not include other random information, such as information aggregated about people, events etc, which should be kept in other databases.

InMagic (also known as DB textworks): A specialist database software. In Australia it is purchased from Maxus. Maxus also sell an add-on which is a collection management module with structure, forms and lists compatible with the Small Museums Collection Manual (now in 4th edn) Some of these items, such as the 1996 Classification and Authority Lists can also be downloaded from HERE.

Structure: In this context, this is the fields in your catalogue, such as Object, Location, Description, Size, Condition etc. These are drawn from the Small Museums Collection Manual, but you may adapt them to your own needs.

Included in the structure are commands as to how searches are carried out (what fields etc), and how the software reads your information, how reports appear etc.

If you are using a paper cataloguing sheet, it needs to match or closely follow the headings in your structure.

Small Museums Collection Manual can be downloaded from HERE.

Best Advice I can Give: Talk to a few experienced InMagic cataloguers near you, if you are going to use it, before you purchase, and before you decide on the structure you will be using.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gippsland Cataloguing Network to meet.


Gippsland Cataloguing Network will meet for the day at Morwell Historical Society rooms on Wednesday, 25 September. 

More details as soon as we finalise the program. 

Space is limited (about 20 people), so we may need to restrict attendance to a maximum of two from any one group 

 RSVP to kapana[at] 

Yes, I know it is hard to RSVP if you don't have a program - will try and get one out soon :) Feel free to suggest topics you wish to be covered and to pass this along to anyone involved in Cataloguing. 

 Suggested topics so far include: Victorian Local History Database, Validation Lists (Subjects etc), modifying forms and adding colour to forms. Maybe even a short bit on the Australia's Community Heritage Website.  Not strictly cataloguing, but a good new site.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Australia's Community Heritage website

There is a good, new website, Australia's Community Heritage, out there, coming from the federal government, plus the Federation of Australian Historical Societies and the National Trust. It allows you to put up groups, places (with a pretty wide definition of what that covers), people, stories and events (past and future).

One blogger out there Geniaus, has reservations about some of the conditions, but I don't think I will be putting full, refereed articles up there - and any use of the material I do put up there is intended to be as widespread as possible. I am still a great fan of considering all conditions when you sign up for something - but I think I would trust this a lot more than I would trust facebook.

 If you want to pop over and see some examples, I have sites (with links to stories and events) for Heyfield, Maffra and Stratford

I rather like it, as it allows you to provide a useful page for your organisation, with plenty of links off from it, plus you can add your collection as a place, and add stories and events. I would have liked to see objects as well, but guess they can go in as stories.

It has a few glitches (the search is not yet all the widespread on the site), but once you get your mind around it, it is pretty good. Historical societies have been hanging out for something like this for a while.
Or you can use searches on the page. It is also good in that if you use the dropdown menu "Search for Stories about" and tick "All stories" they come to you in order of the latest added first. You can also filter them on the leftand side. or just click on the pins on the map, and you are where you want to be. Not much out there for Victoria yet.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Keep the Date Clear

Next History Victoria Support Group / Seminar is at Warragul on Saturday 31 August.

Word is that Cataloguing / Social Media will be big on the program.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gippsland Guardian online

Much Excitement!

The Gippsland Guardian is now online through Trove, for 1855 to 1868.

While some of the earlier issues are yet to be fully uploaded, if you find an article you want by searching, that is not yet loaded, you can click on the little orange envelope, and you will be e-mailed when that article is fully uploaded - some time in the next month.

You can search the title HERE, by typing your search term into the box on the top right, and clicking on the "Limit to issues of this title", also at top right.

Funding to place the title online (for $7,300), came from a Wellington Shire Community Grant, contributions from the members of the Wellington Heritage Network (and supporters) and the Gippsland Prospectors and Miners.