Hi Fellow Mountmakers-
I’m curious to know if other institutions allow their mountmakers access to the collections management database. I’ve been lobbying our institution, unsuccessfully, for over 2 years to get access to our collections database. I just need read-only access, but it has been denied over and over again. I think it would be helpful, as a mountmaker, to have access to conservation reports, handling notes, past damage, and historical photographs of the pieces and any repairs. Currently, I have to track down that information from a variety of people across a variety of departments, even though it is compiled in one place on the server. It’s tedious and a waste of several people’s time to have to access to database for me every time I’m trying to find something out.
I would appreciate any help in improving my position that this is vital information that I should have access to. Our registrars have told me that I should use the public facing museum website to look up information about the works, though it obviously does not have the comprehensive information I’m looking for. It only occasionally has photographs, and they are not scalable or zoomable, and it only shows the sort of limited information that would be on the object labels in the gallery.
Thanks! I don't expect anything to change, but would like to try to strengthen my argument that this is crucial to performing my job safely and efficiently.
Myself and the other Shop Supervisor in the Mount Shop have access to KEmu, and retrieve info for the other mountmakers if needed. I find it unusual that they won't give you read-only access. Maybe they aren't giving you access because they would need to pay for an additional license/account/sign-in? Otherwise, I don't understand the gatekeeping. Can the myriad of people that you need to constantly consult to obtain information help convince the institution that you need access?
Sorry to hear of your issue. I never thought this would be an issue. I have had access to the collections database here at the CAM since the day I started. We have 'view only' access but, we use it all the time. It is regularly updated by registrar and is used to locate objects on display or in storage. It also offers info like location history, dimensions, and handling notes. Even arthandler notes can be added if needed.
Good luck, hope you gain access. It can only help with work flow for all involved.