Friday, January 6, 2017

Museum Online

Did you know that you could see what is in the 
Nemaha County Historical Society 
while sitting at home in your pj's?

That is made possible thru the online tool associated with the PastPerfect Museum Software used by the Nemaha County Historical Society. This unique museum software is similar to a library catalog. The software stores information about every item in the museum. With this software, the historical society staff (all volunteers) can track who donated the item and where it is either on display or archived.

Each item is also photographed or scanned. Those digital images are linked to the item in the Past Perfect Museum Software.

With the online tool, all of this information -- including the photographs -- are added to the museum's online archive. Thus, anyone can go to the online archive and browse thru the historical society's collection and see pictures of the items. These pictures have been modified for the web by
  • reducing the size of the picture
  • adding a watermark (ownership mark) across the picture
All images in the historical society's database are currently being uploaded to the online archive -- including pictures of individual pages of some books and records. Since the inside of the baby delivery journal has been photographed and added to the database, those images are available for viewing online. 

So, how would one find a particular item (such as the baby journal)?

The trick to locating a specific item is using the right word. Finding that word is actually a matter of trial and error. The first step is to think about all of the words that might describe the desired item. In terms of Dr. Fangman's journal listing birth information, some of those words might be
  • Fangman -- doesn't work because Fangman doesn't exactly match Fangman's
  • birth -- doesn't work because that word isn't associated with the record
  • baby -- does work since that word is part of the title.
Try it for yourself. Go to the online archive and see if you can locate the baby journal!

Once found, you may look at the pictures and say, 'but it's too small' OR 'it's got words right across the middle where my info might be'. That's when the link to 'Request Image' should be used. By clicking that link your request will be sent to the historical society via email. (Note: for the purpose, one could put family history or genealogy.) The historical society staff (all volunteers) will work with you to provide a copy of the larger original photo. Since it costs to keep the doors open and the lights on, there is a fee associated with these photos.
Research Requests
  • email:
  • $10 per hour research fee
  • $.25 per copy for photocopies
  • $.10 per copy for digital images
Personal On-Site Research
  • Tuesdays 10 am to 4 pm — FREE to members
  • Tuesdays 10 am to 4 pm — $10 research fee for non-members
  • Other days — by appointment only / Research fee applies to all
If you want these resources to be preserved for the future, please consider joining the Nemaha County Historical Society. Your membership will help keep the lights on and will help towards the cost of the quarterly newsletter and the online archive.
So what else might be buried in these online archives?
Like was true with the baby journal, many resources only have a picture of the item associated with them when originally added to the database. Only after volunteers have the chance to photograph or scan the resource and add them to the database does that valuable information become available online. However, there are some genealogical gems such as marriage affidavits available in the online archive.

Check out the NCHS Online Archive Today