KE-EMu is the storage database used by Manchester Museum to catalogue the entire collection at the musuem.  It is termed as a ‘collections management system’ and can store data on where the object is located in the musuem, where the object is from (geographically), and, most importantly, what the object actually is!

Figure 1: Examining a herbarium sheet before inputting it onto KE-EMu

During the past two weeks I’ve been getting my head around the uses and applications of KE-EMu.  It really is an indespensible tool in the museum curator’s arsenal.  It makes it relatively straight-forward to source and locate an object.  This means that we can gather objects together for an artist only moments after knowing they are about to arrive.  However, the system is only as good as the custodians of the objects allow it to be.  If you don’t put an object back in it’s correct location, then KE-EMu is made redundant and your life is made a lot more difficult as a result (it’s also immensly frustrating when things aren’t where they’re supposed to be according to KE-EMu!)

Figure 2: Working in the herbarium before carefully putting back the sheets, folders, and box right back where I found them!

The data (such as location and number of specimens etc.) is often extracted and inputted onto KE-EMu by volunteers.  The work is vital in opening up access to the collection to all and keeping account of the extent of the museum’s collection.  The old maxim certainly applies that if you don’t know what you’ve got then you can’t make the most of it.  KE-EMu helps everyone involved in museums and the public at large to get the most out of the collection.


About Trainee Curator

I will be writing a blog about the next twelve months spent as a trainee biological curator based at Manchester Museum.
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3 Responses to KE-EMu

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