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Management of misplaced or unsighted items

Management of misplaced or unsighted items

I am researching the method used to record that an object or specimen is misplaced/missing/location unknown. This information can be ascertained in normal collection management or curatorial duties or it might be the result of a focussed collection audit, inventory or stocktake. I have attached a document with each of fields I mention below to assist you.

At present if we cannot find an item we (most of us!) update the Current Location field to LOCATION UNKNOWN (MvCIS) and the History of Current Location table records the date and user details.

Some of us also use the Sighted Details fields on the Coll M’gmt tab but the data is overwritten each time an item is sighted or not.

We believe that the Current Location field is about the physical location and that Missing is not a location! We occasionally use the Record Category field on the Collection tab but inconsistently and again this field can be overwritten without a visible history.

The common legacy practise has been to record that something is missing in a notes field – but which one, we have many!

An easy solution is for us to redesign the Sighted Details but before we do this have any of you developed new fields/tabs or even a module to assist with documenting the discovery trail in EMu? And if so are these changes reflected in any policy or procedural documents and would you be willing to share ideas?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Nancy Ladas


Manager, Collection Information Systems
Museum Victoria
PO Box 666
Melbourne Victoria 3001
Australia

T +61 3 8341 7130
F +61 3 8341 7722

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Re: Management of misplaced or unsighted items

Hi Nancy - we don't have the same tabs as you, so perhaps screen shots would help?

We relocate the missing object record to a TBL "To Be Located" location, so basically the same approach as you.

We also use the stocktake fields on a "Status" tab. This tab is just a nested table containing Sighted By (link to parties), Date and Stocktake Status (llokup controlled). This allows us to record a history of stocktakes, rather than just the last sighting.  Not without issue - the table is at present limited to 10 rows and can't be updated en mass using bulk replace tool or import tool - though upgrade will hopefully fix these issues.

While I agree the TBL location is something we don't want, it is a part of an objects location history. Is there any issue with just removing the "Location unknown" entry from the history when/if the object shows up?

Mark Bradley – Assistant Registrar, Documentation (EMu)
National Gallery of Australia

Mark Bradley
Assistant Registrar (EMu Guy)
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Re: Management of misplaced or unsighted items

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your response I have attached the screenshots for you.

Nancy Ladas


Manager, Collection Information Systems
Museum Victoria
GPO Box 666
Melbourne Victoria 3001
Australia

T   +61 3 8341 7130
F   +61 3 8341 7722
M   0408 240 490
E   nladas@museum.vic.gov.au
W   museumvictoria.com.au

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Re: Management of misplaced or unsighted items

As an Art Gallery we have a lot of different tabs and fields to yourselves but we have the same problem of when objects are misplaced. We don't have a sighted field and our stocktake field appears to be a single entry field rather than a nested table. So like you have been doing so far we use the current location field and have several options for unaccounted for objects. We're trying to to reduce this to two "missing" for genuinely missing objects and "unknown" for temporarily misplaced objects. We use the location notes to update the history of looking for these objects and find this adequate enough.

John Peel
Manchester City Galleries

John Peel
Collection Information Officer | Manchester Art Gallery

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