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Database Environment

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Submitted By lloydbanks7179
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The Getty Provenance Institute’s database (The Gettys research institute, 2012) contains 1.1 million records. All of these records can be used for a wide variety of research. According to the institute the database can be used for assistance in finding information for Projects, and for the Study of Collecting. According to the Database, “The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired The Entombment (ca. 1612) by Peter Paul Rubens in a Christie's sale in 1992. At that time, the provenance of the painting could only be traced as far back as the mid-19th century.

The number 146, located on the face of the painting, appeared to be an inventory number (the Getty Research Institute, 2012). A search in the Provenance Index's Archival Inventories database retrieved a single record in which the artist name (Rubens) and item number (146) matched. The search lead to a 1651 inventory preserved in the Archivo de la Casa de Alba, Palacio de Liria in Madrid, which lists this Rubens painting. Possibly its first owner was Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán Carpio (1629–1687)”. Other Institutions are not as lucky some. Some Museums are not so fortunate to find the item number associated with the picture.

When it is time to introduce the collections into a database, curators of small museums find themselves in a little bit of trouble. The features and capabilities offered by the newer commercial and professional collection systems are more than they will ever need, more than they can support and more than they can afford all together. Their own database management skills may not be up to par to address their problems effectively.

Discussions of databases for small collections barely focus on building data systems. Database management tools that are successful in business may not be successful for a museum. Structures, internal controls, and strategies that are useful for building small systems...

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