Online Public Access To Galt Collections Now Available
Lethbridge – In-house and off-site exhibits, behind-the-scenes tours, innovative partnerships and other projects have allowed public access to a small percentage of the Galt’s artifact collections at any one time.
In December, the Galt Museum & Archives quietly published a new service which will allow web visitors the opportunity to search its artifact collections online. After some initial glitches were worked out, the Galt is now ready to shout from the rooftops that this new service represents a dramatic advance in facilitating public access to its collections — a major initiative set in the 2007-2014 Strategic Plan.
“Many recognize that physical forms of artifacts are a tangible link to our shared past,” says the Galt’s Collections Technician Kevin MacLean, who oversaw the project.
“Since 2011, we have routinely photographed the artifacts in our care,” reflects MacLean. “By December 2013, we had over 2000 images in our inventory, representing 12.5% of the 12,720 artifact records now online. In many cases, our artifact records include more than one image. Much work remains to be done, not the least of which is the need to add more images to the database.”
MacLean and his small team of assistants, interns and volunteers take care to go beyond the physical acquisition of an artifact: they also collect the stories of the people it belonged to and its significance to them.
“It is the intrinsic stories and meanings, defined by the owner’s memories, which make the artifacts our community’s treasures. Historically, these meanings and stories have been less accessible than the objects themselves. The online searchable artifact database now allows us to make our entire collection, including the individual stories and meanings, available to the public virtually, 24/7.”
The new Collections Online database compliments the Artifacts Online database which has been available since 2007 and features audio recordings, films and videos, negatives, photographs, slides, as well as government and government agency records.
To search the new Collections database, go to galtmuseum.com/collections. The Galt Collections Department can be reached at 403.320-4064, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives Online is available at galtmuseum.com/archives. For more information on the Galt Museum & Archives in general, visit www.galtmuseum.com.