24 February 2010
A milestone in the life of the New Zealand Rugby Museum was achieved on the morning of Monday, February 22, 2010.
At about 10.30am, former curator Bob Luxford transferred the last museum catalogue card into the Vernon Systems Ltd’s collection management system.
Now, the museum’s entire catalogue, comprising nearly 37,000 items, is computerised and future sorting of the collection will be fast and thorough and eliminate any awkward shuffling of catalogue cards.
Museum Manager, Stephen Berg, said the massive cataloguing project started in 2003 when Bob Luxford and the museum committee decided it was time to enter the modern age.
“Much research was carried out before the museum entered into a contract with Vernon Systems to supply the necessary platform,” said Mr Berg.
Vernon is used by most museums in New Zealand, such as Te Manawa in Palmerston North, and many more around the world, including the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham.
Mr Berg said the museum received $56,000 over a six-year period to help fund the work: Eastern and Community Trust, $7000; Lion Foundation, $5000; Lottery Board, $10,000; Square Trust, $5000; Pub Charities, $5000; NZRFU, $10,000; Pelorus Trust, $5000; Unison Trust, $2000; Trusts Charitable Foundation, $2000 and Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS), $5000.
“Up until late 2008 only 21,000 items out of an estimated 36,000 had been entered, and the remaining transfers were looking a difficult assignment with the museum’s upcoming relocation to Te Manawa.
“But up stepped Bob, who had recently retired, and he volunteered to spearhead a small group of like-minded people to keep the transfers rolling.”
Museum members Maurice Sullivan and Evan Torrance responded, with each of them doing between nine and 10 hours a week.
“A little over a year later the last item, number 36,940, was transferred,” said Mr Berg. “It’s an achievement for which the New Zealand Rugby Museum is extremely grateful.”
Image: Bob Luxford entering the last item on Vernon.