1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 13, 2009 4:53 AM by swj

    Historical Society database..artifacts, membership, etc.



      Historical Society database..artifacts, membership, etc.


      Hey...I've got an older version of Filemaker Pro on my old Mac.  Generally skilled with it.


      I'm volunteering with a local historical society...looking into options for both Mac and Windows database for doing their membership, mailing labels, and to create a comprehensive inventory of thousands of artifacts (photos, books, documents, tools, etc.) with photos of items, information on them (source, date, names, #, location, etc.).  Past Perfect is the commonly used software...but it's expensive.  Filemaker seems to be a lower priced option that is just as versitile and will work on both platforms.  


      Anyone got any advice or experience on this?  I'm also thinking about doing a lot of it on my Mac labtop and then being able to transfer files to the society's Windows desktop...thus my interest in Filemaker (as opposed to Past Perfect which is only on Windows).



        • 1. Re: Historical Society database..artifacts, membership, etc.

          FileMaker can indeed be used for all of the jobs that you mention. Looking at the samples at http://www.museumsoftware.com/screens.shtml PastPerfect looks like it is comprehensive, but still just a database, that could be duplicated by FileMaker. The catch is of course that it will take time to set up, but maybe you don't need something quite so comprehensive.


          One of  the good points of FM is that you can start with some basic tables and fields, and add to your database as needed. Try to write down everything that you can think of that will be needed, so that you have a plan of where you're heading. Then pick a place to start and jump in. When you get stuck, just come back here!


          On your windows/mac point, you should not have any trouble swapping from one to the other, but watch out for different versions, as file formats changed at fm3, fm5, and fm7. Files convert up OK, but you can't go backwards!