In January of 2021, the NFHC purchased access to an online museum cataloging software system known as PastPerfect, the world’s leader in collection and contact management software. PastPerfect, produced by PastPerfect Software, Inc, out of Exton, PA, will allow for the cataloging of publications, documents, and photographs and store electronic copies of those same items in its online database.
In addition to the purchase of access to PastPerfect, the NFHC has invested in two book scanners and one high-speed scanner to begin the process of capturing electronic copies of the collection. In conjunction with the scanners and software, the NFHC has also contracted for the installation of software which will allow the collection information and electronic renditions to be accessed via the internet. The NFHC has long held a mission of preserving the history of the fire service and fire protection disciplines for future generations. Still, these technological advances will now allow it to be preserved and shared around the world.
PastPerfect has successfully converted the prior catalog over into the new online database. The digitization process has also begun with scanning of non-copyrighted material and uploading those files into the online database. Executive Director Dick DeVore stated, “This technological advancement has moved the NFHC forward by light-years. We quickly learned in the Covid pandemic that we can’t always rely on visitors, researchers, and historians to be able to come to you! We can now take the collection to them and the rest of the world.”
As the online database grows, the NFHC is currently working with PastPerfect to complete the final implementation phases with public online access. The NFHC is currently seeking volunteers that may have an interest in helping our organization meet its daunting mission. Both volunteers and financial support are needed to make this project a reality.