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Students and history buffs can now get to Craigdarroch Castle’s inimitable collection online!

On July 21, 2017, a new icon appeared on the Historical Resources page of the Castle’s website: look for the object ID tag Object_ID_tag

The addition of this link to the museum’s collection marks the end of a year-long project and the first step toward making objects in our collection available for the public to peruse. Having a publicly accessible collections portal is something the curatorial staff has been wanting for many years and it’s an important change for Craigdarroch Castle. The new tool improves access to museum assets for students, staff, volunteers and visitors who want a better understanding of what we have in our collection.

The museum’s Registrar, Danielle MacKenzie, took the lead on this substantial task that began with reviewing our database management requirements and updating the information we have on objects in our collection to maintain consistency. Danielle’s review highlighted the need for us to find a management tool with superior media-handling capabilities (audio, video and images) that also supported our desire to allow more people to explore our artifacts in a digital environment.  Collective Access seemed to fit the bill.

The management system we were using was cumbersome to use, lacked the capability to manage audio, video, PDF documents and images formats, so this migration to Collective Access is a very exciting step for the museum. Curator Bruce Davies worked with Danielle to finalize the selection of the first publicly accessible group of objects; he said he’s thrilled to have this new management tool. He’s been testing the portal by sending links to objects when he replies to questions from visitors and he says he’s happy with the quality of information he is now able to share.

Visitors to the collection portal are invited to explore 146 objects, mostly related to the Dunsmuir family, as well as a small selection of objects relating to the various institutions that have occupied the building from 1919 to the present day. Anyone wishing to comment or make up their own galleries is encouraged to create an account. We have over 7000 objects in our collection, so please explore the information and let us know what other objects you’d like to know more about!
John Hughes - Executive Director