One of the long-term goals for a museum curator is to put together a catalog of the collection under their care. With the advent of the web this project has gone beyond the printed page and given the writer a whole new set of options. Unlike a publication, a web catalog allows the writer to add works as they are acquired instead of having to produce another book sometime in the future, change entries as new information becomes available, and correct mistakes that would forever remain in print. Flexibility is one of the major advantages of putting a collections catalog on the web.
The journey from concept to completion of the catalog for the American collection began more than two years ago with a compilation of the material that would be necessary to begin the project. Nothing could begin without a complete list of the American collection. For this project the list took the form of a printout which contained each piece in the American collection organized by its accession number, the order in which it came into the collection. For example 2008.352 was the 352nd piece to come into the collection in 2008. It was then necessary to ascertain from this list the works to be included in the web catalog. The remarkable aspect of a web catalog is that once this decision is made there will always be the opportunity to create more entries in the future.