Monday, April 19, 2010

Searching the database

Today I am continuing to search the database for artifacts that date between the 1870s and 1890s for The Victorian Age exhibit.

It is tedious because I have to search through hundreds of records. I am doing a search for "187" "188" or "189" in the description field to find the right era. There are almost 1000 artifacts for each of those searches. Tedious.

Normally I would prefer to go into the storage areas and make my selections by just looking at the artifacts. For example, when I did the glass and china exhibit, I went through that area of storage and pulled things that I liked. I was not concerned about dating them, since the exhibit wasn't focused on a specific time period.

For this, I need to be sure the artifacts date from the Victorian era if I'm going to include them. And we don't group our artifacts by time period -- they are stored by type or material. So the textiles are all together, the hats are all together, the china is all together, etc.

I could walk through the storage areas and "guess" the dates and then go back and check them, but that would be extra work in the long run. And I might be disappointed to find out something I really, really like is actually from 1910 and can't be included after all!

So the only way to verify an artifact's time period is searching the database!

Did I mention it was tedious? :-)

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