The Heritage service started managing the collections in 2017.
Each collection had some lists but none were complete or easily available to the public.
In 2020 we began a collection wide inventory to create a searchable list of everything in the collections. This is essential for managing the collection effectively so that every item has an individual number and that this is linked to its current location.
The inventory will bring a sense of order and accountability to the collections. It will assist Showtown's exhibition, and learning and engagement programmes, it will establish links between collections and stories and create conversations about our heritage.
The inventory has been divided into two parts. The aim of part one is to investigate the whole collection as quickly as possible, tagging each item with a new inventory number, but recording only the most basic information – little more than what each object is and where it is located.
From part one the collections will then be prioritized for more detailed cataloguing. Much more detailed information will be gathered and recorded on our collections management software Emu.
Our ongoing aim is to link our computer system Emu to our website to create a detailed search facility for people to access the collection which includes digital photographs of as many of the items as possible.