Map Drawer Inventory Project

2019, McMichael Canadian Art Collection
art, Canadian Art, collections, Collections Management, Inventory, Records Management
About This Project

Date: November 2018 – April 2019

Partner: McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Location: McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Project Members: Hanna Broker


The purpose of this self-directed project was to conduct a physical inventory of the gallery’s permanent collection stored in the drawers of the paper vault. The inventory confirmed and updated temporary object records for artwork currently housed in the drawers of the paper vault; updated inventory lists and signout sheets, and created an inventory report that documents the inventory process for future inventory projects. Those works on paper without permanent home locations were safely rehoused and locations updated in the collection database.
Intended Audience :
This report was prepared as an internal document for exclusive use by the Collections Department.

The project was hosted at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, which is an institution with over 6,500 works of Canadian artwork in the collection.

Janine Butler, Head of Collections and Registrar at the McMichael contributed to the planning and implementation of the Inventory Project. The Faculty of Information contributed to the project’s budget and provided consultation throughout the duration of the project.

The planning of the project began in September 2018, and the inventory process began in November 2018, and continued until all drawers in the vault were fully inventoried, finishing in April 2019.

Types of Presentation
An Inventory Report was the final deliverable of the project. The report provided guidelines for the inventory process for future collection inventories, which helps to ensure that a consistent method is applied moving forward. Inventory management forms were also created to document and log the inventory process, note any available storage space for incoming objects, as well as a summary of findings that noted any issues that were discovered. In addition, a binder with all handwritten notes taken during the inventory which log object location history and issues was included as part of the inventory report. A USB with all the digital files of location reports, inventory reports, and inventory management forms was included as part of the final deliverables to the McMichael.

The scope of this project included inventorying the paper storage in the vault which consists of 98 drawers, and 1,475 objects (approximately 1/5 of the collection). The original scope estimated that roughly 1/3 of the drawers would be inventoried, however this goal was surpassed by completing the inventory of all 98 drawers. Acknowledgements Special thanks to Janine Butler, Head of Collections and Registrar at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for supervising the Inventory Project, and for her continued support. Special thanks also to Dr. Matthew Brower at the Faculty of Information for his advice and support throughout the project