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At Manchester Art Gallery we use the task tab/module mainly for copyright, conservation and loans. We probably don't use how it is intended but instead as a reminder tool.

We use the "notify on" field and the "notify field" and maybe the "description" field so we receive the notification on the specified date with a sentence about what needs to happen. These reminders can be up to 5 years in the future in the case of copyright licence renewals.

My bugbear is that the notify field only lets me attach parties which then contain the email address to which the reminder is to be sent. Over a 5 year period who knows if staff will still be there and if anyone will remember if these reminders have been set. What I would like is if you could attach a User Group such as "curators". So that all users who are, at the time of the notification, in that user group will receive the notification. That way if staff who set the notification leave but the notification is important, such as taking down copyrighted material, the current staff can respond.

Would others find this useful?

05-Nov-16 00:16:46
Causes confusion after every upgrade when users can't find their usual Tabs.
Forum: Wishlist

I definitely support the idea of the default being set to not hide. I've recently expanded my role to cover more users and there are users who for numerous years just presumed they didn't have the same tabs as their colleagues or that the tabs had been taken away from them.

Ok the IT workaround works but it would just be easier if there wasn't a need to do this.

So after some discussions it would seem that Sapphire is going to be able to deliver almost all of what I've asked for. I should be able to configure a Sapphire form so that when accessed on an iPad conservators will be able to compile a full conservation report in EMu.

The only thing that may be missing is in-app image annotation. This would be an ideal aspect for EMu development. I see that GallerySystems has a similar setup with their 'Conservation Studio' software but this includes in-app image annotation that allows for layered annotation on the original image. Surely Axiell would be keen to keep up with a rival??

Failing that does anyone know of any good image annotation software programs? Preferably free and preferably multi-platform. … dio/[/url]

Not sure why my original image is so small, think my 2 screen screenshot caused that.

Anyway I've attached another screenshot.

My issue was I didn't want to taint the original artist's party record with any mention of previous attribution as that affects all the other records it is attached to. I have to create a duplicate part record to record this.
1. John Constable - attached to all work he painted
2. John Constable (formerly attributed to) - attached to all paintings he was thought to paint but have since been attributed to another artist.

I've thought about this issue since and as it doesn't overly interfere with results etc it isn't worth pursuing.

Can other users please tell me how they currently go about condition checking objects in relation to EMu.

At Manchester Art Gallery we currently take an image. Print the image out. Annotate by hand. Scan the annotated image. And then attach this image to the conservation record on EMu where notes are then made. This then all feeds into a conservation report. Bit of a faff.

For loans in we've adopted a new approach using iPads and Evernote. Images are taken and then directly annotated within Evernote and notes made. These can be extracted as PDF's but it is all very limiting and as they're loans in the connection to EMu is lost and not important enough to pursue. Still a bit of a faff as well.

However the ease of using Evernote is making me look at the whole process and what's available. I see there is a program called which looks interesting, our conservators like the look of it and the website states integrates with collection management systems? Has EMu got any instances of integration with this? The issue with it seems to be the subscription and that Articheck own all your reports.

So then I thought wouldn't it be good if there was a version of a program like this built into EMu.

Thoughts and comments please. I'd really like to explore this topic of how to streamline the condition checking process for our conservators. Perhaps other users know of other tablet based programs where images and editing can be done on the fly and saved in image formats and that there is no need for a specific condition checking program.

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

27-Oct-15 03:10:11
the challenges of locating works made up of parts

If anyone creates a wishlist entry about this problem being resolved somehow we would definitely add our name to it. We encounter this problem on a weekly if not daily basis.

Hi Deb,
It isn't that I'm trying to update records that is the problem. It is the issue of when an artwork has its attribution changed so that the old attribution becomes "formerly attributed to". I was making the comment that EMu could do with some form of attribution options. I currently create multiple records for artists using the suffix field to denote the "formerly attributed to" status.

I've just been through the process of changing an attribution on a catalogue record for one of our art works and it occurred to me that surely there should be a better way of doing this. At present if we reattribute an art work to a different artist, the new artist takes the primary spot for the attached creators and I then have to create a duplicate party record for the replaced artist which has in its name suffix field (formerly attributed to) and add this creator as well as removing the original artist party record.

How are other galleries/museums managing this?

I don't want to keep the previous attribution's original party record attached and use the catalogue record's role field and it affects searches for that artist. I just feel there must be something that can be added to EMu or some other method that would mean I didn't need to setup duplicate records for all former attributions.

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery


What currently are other user's policies when it comes to image metadata?

At our Gallery we currently have any metadata from the digital camera loaded into the multimedia module but nothing else is added. We populate the fields within the multimedia module with some basic info like image title, copyright info, date, etc. I've been reading a discussion lately about the importance of having this data as part of the IPTC metadata. Having only just learned what this IPTC metadata is, it safe to say none of our attached images have any.

Hi there Donna,

I already have both those settings in place. I have the column colour set to just red and they're set to mandatory but the problem persists. I had presumed my column colour registry setting would be the primary colour. I've even been on the phone to the EMu superhotdeskhelp.

If I turn the mandatory setting off. All the field's turn red like they should be. As soon as I turn it on the local mandatory colour kicks in and they turn white.

The only thing that is different in my setup is the mandatory registry entry is set to specific groups and the column colour setting is set to default group. Mystery.

So I've been a busy little EMu admin and made sure that all semi-regular users of EMu can be guided in its use by using shortcuts, field-level help, and colour coded fields. This includes the use of mandatory fields.

I've used registry settings to colour the background of semi-important fields as yellow and super-important fields as red. I'd also set the essential fields to be mandatory and I then started playing with the options for the colouring of the background for mandatory fields - I made this red as well. I then discovered the red wasn't quite the same so in the name of perfection I attempted to turn the options colour off or at least clear (see-through). You can neither turn it off nor choose a clear colour. So I had to go into the Windows registry and delete the line for this and eliminate the mandatory field colour. This made everything on my version of EMu all lovely. I presumed this was the same for all my users, not so.

Much to my annoyance when I go to help someone who's questioning why they can't save a record when they have all the red coloured fields populated and I tell them they've missed a field I realise it had no background colour at all. I then discover that the mandatory field background colour is set locally and is default set to white?! Meaning all mandatory fields for most of my users just look like a field they don't need to consider. Surely a mandatory field that is set by admin as a registry entry should also have its colour set by admin as a registry setting and not leave it up to the user and even more so should not have the default colour as set to white. In my eyes registry settings should override anything the user can control - that being the point of having an administrator. Most of my users wouldn't event think to right-click the EMu taskbar let alone know how to change the colour of mandatory fields.

My only options appear to be to either send an email with detailed instructions telling everyone to change their background colour for mandatory fields and hope no-one changes computer. This will most likely only be done by only 25% of the users. Or go round everyone's computer and do it myself. However the constant replacement of computers means this will be an ongoing task.

I wish for mandatory colour controls to move from the local level to the registry level to match the mandatory field controls.

(In conjunction to Rowena's colour request … view#p1638 there could be a colour revamp as I'd find colouring the list view helpful also)

08-Oct-13 22:09:27
Tool for cleaning data before an import.
Category: Using EMu

David Smith wrote:

Hi John,

I shall be giving a talk (NO. Risking a demo!!) at the NA EMu Users Conference on the subject, showing how I have used it to manipulate and cleanse data created from rapid entry of hand written registers.  I've also recently discovered the world of 'open data' and API's, although have been frustrated by my programming language illiteracy.  It has huge potential to verify your data against 'authority' datasets (reconciliation) and augmentation by extracting data from them.
John, I know me doing a talk in the States won't help you, but I promise I'll try and write up a synopsis with some useful manipulation expressions and examples.  For someone like me who can't get a grip of MS Access to help with data cleaning, this tool is great.


That all sounds great Dave. Look forward to it especially in regards to the authority datasets. If the Collections Trust does eventually give more of a National steer on which authorities are THE authorities that would make it even more useful.


08-Oct-13 22:03:48
the challenges of locating works made up of parts

We have this problem.

Lets take the very simple example of a piece of furniture that comes apart to allow it to fit through doorways. This has one catalogue record. When in storage the top and the bottom piece of the furniture are stored separately. There is no need for a parent record and 2 children records, that's creating 2 additional catalogue records when it's not really needed so we couldn't use the split function. I could do with more options on the location tab, we currently use the temporary and permenant location fields almost like they are location (1), location (2), and location (3). If additional current location fields existed this would be great. We have many examples of artworks that form assemblage works. There could be the primary current location that populates the location history and additional current location fields that could record if parts are elsewhere. We also use the location notes field but when people like me are using the relocate tool from the list view I'm not paying attention to if there's notes in that field.

Would love to see if anything like this could be in the pipeline.

This would be useful if possible. Like Rowena I end up having 3 instances of EMu running on my machine so I can carry on working. The lack of any progress bar means who knows when the search might finish... if ever.

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

+1 for me on this

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

We would definitely find this feature useful for the exact same issue of our annual collections audit where random sampling is necessary. Like Mark we have so far used the =rand() function of excel but that is convoluted and only experienced excel users can perform it.

So +1 for this feature.

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

I agree this would be very handy. In the same way you are told which group you are currently active in you could be told which list view you have active and a dropdown menu for switching would be even better especially when you're switching between a couple all the time.

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

08-Oct-13 20:46:12
Tool for cleaning data before an import.
Category: Using EMu

Has anyone got anything more recent on how useful this tool is/was?

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

Thanks for clearing up the mat distinction. We also have the crate/frame tabs but we've used those for when you want a crate or frame to be an object in its own right with its own catalogue record to which you then attach objects.

If only Te Papa was a stone throw from Manchester, I would very much like to see your system in action. The multimedia thread you linked was very interesting as well and contained something we could look at changing to speed things up.

On the first screenshot you've posted. What does the "mat" refer to? I will definitely be showing this custom tab to our curators/conservators with a view to getting something similar.

Thanks very much for all of that.

Thanks for that, that tab looks like it would be perfect. Is that a custom tab? Some of the names of your other tabs also look interesting in comparison to ours, what is the "survey/dam" tab? and the "access" tab?. The "Media Asset" file menu also sounds of interest, may I ask what that is?

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

This is really only aimed at Art Galleries who have a large collection of paintings and works on paper. I am coming across more and more instances where it would be very handy to have a specific field to indicate whether an object is glazed or unglazed and what material it is glazed with so that this data can be used when designing and generating reports. So far we have considered using several other fields but all of them have a greater use than just recording whether a work is glazed or not. The main field used has been the "Handling" field on the condition tab. Are there any other users who have encountered this problem? How have you dealt with it?

John Peel
Manchester City Galleries

Thanks for suggesting this. Very helpful suggestion.

We're currently looking at entering our Art Library onto EMu. The only thing missing is the ability to record the location of each book as our library is spread out over several offices. It would be nice if it had a location module field.

Are there any plans for this? Have other users found a need for this?

Collections Information Officer
Manchester Art Gallery

02-Feb-12 23:42:56
Category: Announcements
Forum: EMu News

Having trouble viewing this. Keep getting a 404 error screen.

02-Feb-12 23:41:18
Category: Announcements
Forum: EMu News

Having trouble viewing this. Keep getting a 404 error screen.

We're currently using EMu version 3.2.03 at Manchester City Galleries and we have a particular problem with locations.

We have a number of objects in the collection that in the past have been accessioned in groups and given one accession number. The accession number does reflect the number of parts within the group but it is the same number on every object. For example 1910.15/20, is a group of 20 objects all marked with this number.

This is fine for the actual physical objects. But when it comes to creating a record on EMu we hit a snag. We cannot re-number the objects with a suffix, nor can we create 20 catalogue records with the same duplicate number, we therefore have to create one catalogue for all 20 objects. This is fine except when it is possible for all 20 objects to be in different locations. At present it is only possible to record 1 current location on the catalogue module.

It might even be possible that all 20 objects have a need to be recorded on the same catalogue record, for example a traditional Scottish outfit with all its parts might be accessioned as one object and given a full description as an outfit but each element of the costume might be stored in a separate location.

Can anyone suggest a possible solution before I make the suggestion of it would be nice if the location field on the catalogue module allowed for multiple locations to be attached.

Database Manager
Manchester Art Gallery UK

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