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Inventory recording

28th February 2019
Posted by Richard Langley

Inventory or Catalogue record – what’s the difference?

Inventory records are about capturing the essential information about each and every item in your collection.

Making sure you have the basic information to be accountable for the objects in your care, and tackling the backlog if you do not.

Spectrum (Inventory)

The minimum requirement for an inventory record is

  • A unique object number.
  • An object name.
  • The number of objects (if a group).
  • A brief description (or image).
  • The current location.
  • A record of who owns the object (and, if your museum owns it, a record of where it came from).
  • A note of who recorded this information and when.

This information meets Museum Accreditation Standards as part of the ACE Accreditation scheme. Modes Complete v1.4 comes with an Inventory template specifically for recording to this standard. Modes Complete v1.4 also comes with an Inventory grid view as the default view so you can see at a glance if your records meet the minimum requirement.

Modes Compact is yet to have a specific Inventory template, but the _basic template also supports ACE Museum Accreditation Standards.

Catalogue records are much more comprehensive. Their purpose is to record and retrieve what is known about your object which can include its history, physical description, use and management within the museum.

Managing the information that gives your collections meaning … to record and retrieve what is known about your objects.

Spectrum (Cataloguing)

Expanding an inventory record

Once an Inventory record has been created it can easily be developed into a Catalogue record using Modes. Use Edit > Insert element group to add a new section into a single record; or use Edit > Update > Element group to update a whole batch of records. Click the links to download the user guides for these methods.

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