How Museums Work - Catalogues
Why a Catalogue?
It is essential that we are able to find and identify every object in the collection. Every object has information associated with it. This might just be the name and address of the donor, and where the object was used; but in most cases it extends to a complete history of who made or collected the object, where, why, how, when, and for what purpose it was used.
We have to record, and then organise all this information so that we can retrieve it quickly and easily when we need to. This might be in order to write a label for the object in a display; or it might be to help someone with some research.
Every object in the museum collections is allocated a unique identification number, which allows us to keep track of the object and its information through a computer-based catalogue of all the objects. Once the information has been recorded on the computer, it is there for anyone who may need to see it in the future.