general-purpose museum catalogue
| System requirements | Data
Structure | Input | Viewing
| Editing | Searching | Output
searching prototypes available - try them now!
INCA (interactive catalogue)
is a piece of software designed to replace manual cataloguing procedures
in museums. It has been developed within the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery
at the University of Glasgow, and has now been in use since December 1993.
If you are interested seeing the software in use, obtaining the program,
or require further details, please contact:
John Faithfull Hunterian Museum University of Glasgow Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: 041 339 8855 xt 4213 Fax: 041 307
designed primarily for use by curators themselves,
to improve speed and efficiency of basic curatorial procedures: recording
of data and production of lists and labels etc.
"open" system: written using Microsoft FoxPro
2.6. Windows and Macintosh versions of INCA currently running. FoxPro is
the fastest, and most widely available clone of the famous industry-standard
"dBase" database language.
single-user or multi-user: many users can
access the same database at once.
easy to export all, or part of your data to
other microcomputer or mainframe software, such as spreadsheets, or other
standard microcomputer interface. Works in
exactly the same way as your other software.
same program and underlying data structure
used for all museum disciplines: slight "flavour" differences can be selected
during use (eg Art, Ethnography, Natural History, etc.)
can be used to view, administer or edit images,
video or sound files associated with museum objects.
mature product: has been in daily use by 15
staff in the Hunterian Museum and Gallery for 6 years, (plus other sites)
and has evolved in response to user needs over this time.
Fully Y2K compliant. All dates stored with
4-digit year, and leap years and days handled properly although versions
prior to 2.1c display last 2 year digits only.
Windows version requires Windows 3.1 or later.
Macintosh version requires System 7 or later.
Standalone INCA.EXE program available for
Windows and Macintosh, giving access to almost all the INCA features
Windows version requires a PC with at least
a 386sx processor, and as much RAM as possible: 8Mb or more is preferred.
A large hard-disk is advisable: typical records occupy about 2kb-5kb each.
If you wish to use INCA with images etc, you wil need a beefier machine:
typically a 66MHz 486 with at least 8Mb of RAM.
Windows version will run with 4Mb of RAM and
virtual memory switched on, but will be relatively slow.
Macintosh version requires 5Mb or more of
RAM, and a 68030 or higher processor.
NB The Macintosh version of INCA
does not support the image or other multimedia options.
runs under any standard network software such
as Novell Netware for multi-user access. Macintoshes and PCs can simultaneously
use the same INCA catalogue.
To use INCA with images, video or sound clips
you will need independent methods of producing such files, and software
to view/edit them. INCA willl work with any such software, provided you
have enough RAM!
based on specially designed General-Purpose
Museum Record Structure using 10 related database tables.
store data associated with many different
types of collection in one INCA catalogue, or maintain the traditionally
distinct subject areas as separate catalogues.
printed and screen output not dependent on
this structure: data from different tables can be combined or excluded,
and displayed in almost any combination.
output most traditional forms of specimen
labels, one-line catalogues, and a wide range of other listings including
laser-printed sticky-label sheets.
currently in use for Geology, Art, Ethnography,
Zoology, Numismatics, Archaeology, Scientific Instrument, and Miscellaneous
can split or merge different INCA datasets
(Version 2.1c onwards) - ideal for remote inputing on a laptop and later
merging with a central dataset.
"carry forward values" option from one record
to the next: minimize typing.
automatic number incrementing available for
any style of catalogue/accession number!
automatic entry for batches of duplicate records,
with auto-incremented numbers.
"template" option allowing you to use any
existing record to "fill in" the input fields.
remembers the last record you entered - resume
data input after lunch with minimal retyping!
automatic checking for duplicate numbers.
some controlled terminology on some fields
- users can apply their own terms to these. Most fields not controlled:
any text can be entered.
importing MODES/FAMULUS/MIS etc. data: not
a standard option, but relatively easy for any dBase/FoxPro/Clipper programmer.
We can import most forms of data: contact Dr.
John Faithfull for further details.
view records using screens or forms, or as
traditional database tables
can't accidentally edit data unless in special
edit mode (see below).
screens can "pop-up" for any record when in
screens allow limited searching and ordering
use your favourite viewer for looking at images
accessed through INCA.
edit single records one at a time, or perform
global changes to whole database, or just to a selected subset of records.
complete audit-trail maintained of all edits:
impossible to lose data. At present it is not possible to perform automatic
"rollback" using the audit trail data, but this can be done manually. Future
versions may include some degree of automatic rollback.
audit trail not kept for newly entered records
edited by the person who entered them: one week "proof-reading" period
normal users cannot delete records.
very wide range of searching tools available
allowing almost any combination of fields to be retrieved in almost any
"Standard searches" available: easy-to-use
screens which automate many commonly-used kinds of search.
interactive SQL screen allows SQL select commands
to be run. This allows queries of almost unlimited complexity and cunning
to be built up, and allows output of selected data to new database files,
or to text files or printers.
SQL commands can be saved for later use, together
with a description of what they do. Recalled commands can be edited before
retrieved records can be saved as a special
set for subsequent use; for example to be edited as a batch, or for production
of printed output.
"Unique values" lists easily obtained so that
you can see all the variant values used in any field: invaluable for maintaining
Web front ends support very fast free-text
searching of most fields
output on almost any laser, inkjet or dot-matrix
many types of summary listing from "saved"
record sets, including Avery sticky-label formats.
card-tray labels to fit 1.5", 2",3",4" and
6" card trays - automatically printed at correct size. Currently Geology,
Biology and Numismatics and General formats.
traditional "one-line" catalogue output for
either the whole database, or a subset. Two formats: sorted by maker (eg
for Art collections) or by number.
stock-taking lists sorted by storage location.
10 other built-in summary listing formats
available for any set of retrieved records.
"Quick Listing" feature allows users to produce
simple printout of any combination of fields they want, in any order. Such
output can also be sent to file for use with other software - options for
html-ready output also exist.
Easy to export data to other databases or
spreadsheets for "design your own" output. Built-in Export formats inlcude:
dbf, Excel, SYLK, tab, comma or any other delimited, and Lotus 1-2-3.
Utilities inlcude printing of number sheets
(eg for cutting up and sticking to specimens), and printing of runs of
sticky labels for box, drawer or shelf numbering.
at present INCA is in use within the Hunterian
Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Dundee, the University of St.
Andrews and Leicester University Geology Department. The latter have successfully
imported 70,000 records from a older system.
standalone versions now exist for Windows
and Macintosh (Mac version currently unavailable, but enquiries welcome..).
During 2000 or 2001 we hope to release a 32-bit
version of INCA (Win95/98/NT only), and a Web-based searchable interface
for INCA data. (Test versions now on-line).The
32-bit and the 16-bit versions will be able to simultaneously access the
same data over a network. Future developments will include fully indexed
text retrieval and built-in loans administration.
We have a small booklet "INCA in Use" which
contains a range of screenshots and explantions of how INCA works. Currently
this is available by surface mail only.
Currently, INCA is available free to Scottish
University museums. Our pricing policy for other bodies is not yet finalised,
but may be around £500 per workstation - contact Dr.
John Faithfull for up to date details.