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This week was volunteer appreciation week.  Museum Strathroy-Caradoc has a number of dedicated volunteers working with the collection and below are their stories.

I started volunteering to work at the Strathroy Museum in September of 2014. As of March 31, 2016 I have 326 hours of community service. My work involves taking pictures of items and logging them into the computer (into PastPerfect) with a brief description of each item. I currently work Tuesday and Thursday afternoon each week. As I did not grow up in the area I find it interesting to learn more about the history of Strathroy Caradoc.

The RS Williams glass negative collection covers the years of approximately 1901-1905 and were discovered above Bosson’s Pharmacy.  As a recent retiree, I have been cleaning, identifying, recording and digitizing the negatives two mornings a week since October 2015. The tasks give me an insight into the names, clothes and customs of one hundred years ago. I have been fortunate to see the original glass negative of a picture of my maternal grandmother and her sisters from 1901. Preserving the Collection and assisting the Museum Strathroy-Caradoc is an excellent volunteer opportunity

Each week I scan the old Age Dispatch negatives into PastPerfect (the museum database).  I then transcribe the captions from the actual hard copy of the newspapers into the database and create search terms and key words that will aid future researchers.  So far I have completed the newspapers from March and part of April of 1984 and will start on May very soon.

Below are some of the items that George, Paul and John have been working on

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This week Museum Strathroy-Caradoc launched an online collection database. This project was made possible in part through the Museum Foundation. The museum has close to 30 000 items within its collection and with this database we will be able to highlight a number of them online. The addition of records onto the online database is a work in progress and new material will be added on a monthly basis starting with our Photographic Collection.
If you find an image within the collection that you would like a copy of or have more information on there is also an order form and feedback form.
PastPerfect Online will allow people to search a number of ways. Keywords, advanced search, click and search and random images. You will find the database on our website under the Collections Tab.

Keyword Search
Allows you to search for specific terms and/or phrases.
Here are some helpful hints when searching using Keyword.

  • Use double quotations around phrases to produce results with a string of text present in a record rather than each word individually present in a record.
  • Both the AND and OR operators may be used. Use AND to produce records that include more than one keyword/phrase. Use OR to produce records that include either keyword/phrase.
  • The wildcard * is acceptable at the end of a keyword. Searching for histor* will produce records with the search terms history, historic, historical and any other word beginning with “histor”. Note – This will slow down your search and does not work in phrases.
  • Search terms are NOT case-sensitive, meaning that “Doll” and “doll” will produce the same search results.
  • Common words such as “and” and “the” are not searched unless except within phrases.
  • To the right of the search box is a box with choices of what records/content to search. You may initially narrow your search to, for example, only records with images in Object and Photos.

Advanced Search
Allows you to conduct a more specific search. Note – The helpful hints from above apply to advance search as well.
Word/Phrases entered in the box labeled Keywords, will be searched for everywhere in the record. In contrast, words entered in the other boxes will be searched for only in selected field associated with that search category.
Click the Search button when you have entered all the values you want. Search results will contain records that meet ALL the criteria you specified.  You can also select how to sort the results of your advanced search. You would do this by clicking a radio button next to the Search Category you want to sort on.
For example if you only want records of “Frank Street” (Phrase in Keywords box) between the dates 1920 and 1940 (Start and End Date).

Click & Search
This is a quick way to browse the database site without having to know what terms are in the database. This is organized by the alphabet.
Pick a letter to the right of a search category to see the options beginning with the chosen letter. You may also need to select a range, within that letter choice, that you want to view. Then, click the down arrow to see the individual terms/phrases for which you can search. Click a search term to conduct a search.
For example Under People you can choose the letter C and a drop down menu will be activated. All Last names that start with C will be here.

Random Images
Random Images is a quick way to browse the site. Click Random Images and you will be presented with a series of image thumbnails. Click the hyperlink below the thumbnail to display detailed information about the item. Click the thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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