The Cable Natural History Museum’s Collection Advancement Initiative, funded by a $57,000 federal matching grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services(IMLS), will enable the digitizing of the entire catalogue of the Museum’s collections, which includes vertebrates, invertebrates, a large herbarium and a modest geology/paleontology collection. In addition, the collection will be made accessible to interested parties via the Museum’s website cablemuseum.org.
As a result of the Collection Advancement Initiative, Cable Natural History Museum audiences will be better informed regarding important environmental issues. Improved access to collections will help to increase Museum attendance and heighten member satisfaction. With increased awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship will come better understanding of the need for a workable and sustainable balance of land and water use by industry and recreation to sustain this region’s quality of life.
The Museum must compensate for limited permanent exhibition space by providing public digital access to collections via the website. Expedited collections access will help strengthen school programs, and facilitate improved environmental education programs for permanent and seasonal residents.
To achieve the goal of this project, CNHM will:
- Acquire PastPerfect, a museum collections management database, up-graded to include “virtual exhibit” and enhanced media modules to transfer data from typed or hand-written accession records to a useable, accessible digital database
- Purchase a digital camera and equipment to record visual images of all specimens
- Obtain twelve moveable display units to permit frequent rotation of objects from the permanent collection that have not been available to the public for several years
- Procure and install two computerized information kiosks to provide on-line access to the collection database from within the Museum
- Create and install interpretive signage to assist Museum visitors to better understand the importance of collections to the scientific community and the public.
- Retro-fit the collections room doors with safety glass panels to allow Museum visitors to view some specimens in the collection when naturalist or docents are not available for guided tours
- Provide professional development in collections management for the staff Naturalist
- Recruit, train, and supervise interns to assist in cataloging, photography and website preparation
The generous support of IMLS will help Cable Natural History Museum fulfill its Mission to our community: Connecting people to Northwoods nature through educational experiences that inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility.