CFMAS - Data Conversion

CFMUSE allowed for different combinations of the same thing, as it had no mandatory fields with set character parameters. Recording the donor of an artefact, for instance, could have been entered as Mr I M Bloggins, M Bloggins, I M Bloggins, Bloggins, IM, etc. The combinations and permutations possible for this one field alone is compounded by the fact that CFMUSE had literally hundreds of these input fields with no predefined internal programming limits. Even within a museum, which used CFMUSE, many different standards existed for entering everything and anything including the entering of spelling mistakes. This produced poor data integrity and it's associated problems (i.e. poor search capabilities).

CFAMS has hard-coded the Parks Canada Nomenclature with its associated fixed character field lengths. It also incorporates mandatory fields. Everything that is to be entered must be entered in a certain way or the user will be prompted to correct it. This allows for an error free database. However, because CFMUSE allowed entry and editing of its nomenclature, simplistically, a “hat” and its associated Classifications could be something else in any or all of the other museums or even within the same museum. To ensure a 100% error free database, each museum's databases will have to be validated manually.

Two data conversion options are available to any and all CF museums:

  1. Option 1 - Museums who wish to use this option are to forward a hard copy of their entire collection (either cards or sheets) to DHH for conversion (museums are to identify the most pertinent information from the artefacts Comment portion/field). The converted database (museum.db file) will then be returned to the respective museum.
  2. Option 2 -- Museums wishing to convert their own data must use the Excel macro spreadsheet (CFAMS.xls) distributed on the CD-ROM. Once completed, the spreadsheet is to be forwarded to DHH for data validation and transfer into electronic format. Only the information on the sheets is to be entered and is required. Enter it any way that is preferable as long as all the information is entered consistently (i.e. all lower case or all uppercase; use a “-” to separate phone number or without using a “-” separator, etc). The converted database (museum.db file) will then be returned to the respective museum.

The spreadsheet has 5 tabs and is self-explanatory - Artefact, Museum, Source, Staff and Sheet 4. Fields with an asterix (*) must be completed. The MUSEUM sheet has only one entry line for the particular museum information. In the SOURCE sheet, enter ALL the Sources, past and present, and their respective information for the museum. In the STAFF sheet, enter ALL staff information, past and present, for the particular museum.

The ARTEFACT sheet will be the biggest sheet as every artefact must be entered (one per line). Where further information is required, place the cursor over the little red arrow above the field. The Parks Canada Nomenclature has been added to the spreadsheet (SHEET 4) as reference when entering the required Artefact Classification information (as well as the soft cover books distributed last summer).

If you are using an Access based system, forward an electronic copy to DHH for conversion.

Either way, completed Excel spreadsheet (electronic format) and/or hard copies are to be forwarded to DHH, c/o DHH 5.