In early summer of 2021, the North Olympic History Center was awarded a Heritage Grant by the Board of County Commissioners. The amount of the grant, $17,500, will largely fund the "Cloud Project". This major initiative will convert much of our archival and records collections into digital format.
The first element of the project was to select the software program to be used. There are few programs that closely compete with Past Perfect Museum Software. Since 2012, NOHC has used Past Perfect museum software to catalog the archival collection of approximately 13,000 items. Only recently has Past Perfect been undated to become web-based, meaning that any computer with an internet connection can be used to input information into the database, and ultimately to perform searches on that data. This is important to facilitate work other than on a local computer server. Of significance is that data is backed up remotely and cannot be lost in the event of a local catrastrophic event.
After making the decision to use Past Perfect Web-based edition, the need to "cleanse" the current database became imperative to eventually convert to the Past Perfect Web Edition. Cleansing entails fixing broken links, removing obsolete and out of date records, and other technical issues. This process was begun in late spring and is expected to be complete in early fall. In the meantime, new computer equipment is being purchased in preparation of transitioning to the new web-based program and inputing data.
We are extremely grateful for our volunteer, Eve Datisman, for working on "Cleansing the database."
Until now, researchers have had to come to the NOHC Research Library, or correspond to have questions on local history answered. The artifact collection was accessible only to those willing to make special arrangements. The Cloud Project will provide access to much of our collection on-line. The public will be able to search various categories to find items of interest. In this way, the collection will be accessible to anyone with access to the internet.
A major first step, "cleansing" the existing database was completed early in 2022. Cleansing is the term used for the process of correcting duplicate records, rectifying inconsistencies, and otherwise preparing the database for use with the new web-based system.
The web-based software is presently being tested and the conversion to the new system put on-line for public access by June 1st. At that time, new records will be added to the database. This will be a never-ending project as objects and records of historical significance are continually added to the collections. Eventually, the on-line collection can be used to develop exhibits for a virtual museum.
On June 4, Executive Director David Brownell will make a presentation at Peninsula College at their Studium Generale. Watch for an announcement about this event.