On Monday 14th January 2019 staff from Stockport Museums, including myself, attended a MODES training day at Hat Works- this was part of our HeadsUP project which was achieved with the help of a Sustainable Improvement Grant from Arts Council England awarded by Museum Development North West. All of the staff who attended were there with the hope that the MODES training day would help us work towards documenting objects in the collection, sharing what we find and planning new displays at Stockport Museums.
As I had had a small amount of MODES access and training previous to the training day at Hat Works I was very much looking forward to understanding the system on a higher level and feeling more confident in the collections work I was doing- this was definitely achieved! Firstly we learnt our way around the search tools on MODES Complete such as how to create a subset, this was an extremely useful exercise as a lot of the work I will be doing going forward will involve handling collections enquiries that will need to be thoroughly searched for.
Once we had mastered searching the system, we moved on to creating records which meet SPECTRUM standards and Arts Council England Accreditation requirements. I hadn’t had much previous experience of adding new items to the database so this part of the course was particular interesting to me and I came away with a lot more knowledge than I expected! I learnt that I can create records to SPECTRUM standard very quickly using the inventory templates already on the system, which going forward will keep all of Hat Works’ new entries to the database uniform.
Another aspect of MODES we learnt was how to export and import data from the database, this will be useful in the work I will be doing as I will be able to respond to collections enquiries by extracting data directly from MODES. It will also be useful for tidying up the entries Hat Works already has on MODES to make searching easier.
I wanted to take part in the HeadsUP project at Hat Works and in the MODES training day as I am keen to explore as many different parts to museums and their collections as possible. I have a huge passion for objects and their stories and look forward to gaining lots of experience with the Stockport Museums Collection. I hope to further my collections knowledge by next visiting our Collections Stores where I can hopefully help our Curator by documenting some hats and other hatting objects and sharing what I find!
Hannah-Louise Ryder, Museum Assistant- Hat Works