Many of our existing records are paper-based. In order to improve access and accountability, we will enter all new records onto computerised databases. Over time and in a phased programme, we will convert our older paper records to a computerised format, ensuring also that copies are kept in a safe separate location.
We take a common-sense approach as to the level to which we document material. Ideally for the majority of the collections, especially those that have high monetary or scientific value, our curatorial staff will document to individual item level. However, for certain collections, such as bulk archaeological excavation material or large natural science fieldwork collections, it is not practical to document the material in this detail, and for these, we document items at group level. We aim to have a basic ‘inventory’ record for all identified items and groups within the collection, whilst some items are documented to a more detailed ‘catalogue’ level.