PastPerfect Software
April 5, 2023 | Spring Newsletter
PastPerfect 5.0
Share Your Collections with the Public
Celebrating World Backup Day
Container Lists vs. Multilevel Linking
PastPerfect Web Edition
New Features in Recent Updates
Save Search Results to a Catalog List
Changing the Primary Member
On-Demand or Live Webinars
Online Collections
Collections Spotlight
Staff Pick
FDR creates Civilian Conservation Corps
Our Spring Newsletter contains a variety of articles for users of PastPerfect 5.0 and PastPerfect Web Edition. If you're a user of PastPerfect 5.0 (our desktop program) and interested in sharing collections with the public, check out the article below and join us for a webinar on May 4th to learn more. For users of PastPerfect Web Edition (our cloud-based software), check out the articles about the new features that have been released in recent updates.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:30pm Eastern. You can reach us by calling 1-800-562-6080 or emailing
Although Spring has just arrived for many of us, we know planning has already begun for the Summer and beyond. Here are some upcoming grant deadlines we want to let you know about, so you have plenty of time to prepare applications.

National Endowment for the Humanities - Humanities Collections
Optional draft due: 06/06/2023
Deadline: 07/18/2023
The NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grants are intended to help libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations with collections stewardship and making collections publicly accessible. For more information:

Historic New England Community Preservation Grant
Deadline: 07/07/2023
The Herbert and Louise Whitney Fund for Community Preservation grant program is open to organizations in New England states whose primary purpose is "saving buildings, landscapes, collections, and/or stories from the past to today share with the public." This grant program supports small to mid-size organizations. The grant application will become available on June 1st. For more information:

Minnesota Historical Society Legacy Grants
Deadline for the July Small Grant Application: 07/14/2023
Deadline for the Large Preapplication Grant: 07/21/2023
Legacy Grants fund a variety of projects including interpretive and educational programs, publications, assessments of the building environment, security, and disaster plan, as well as collections conservation and management efforts. For more information:

Other grants can be found on our website's Grant Opportunities page.
PastPerfect 5.0
Share Your Collections with the Public
Are your museum's holdings accessible to visitors around the world? With PastPerfect Online, making the leap to sharing a read-only, fully searchable copy of your collection records with the public is easy, affordable, and secure. You simply select the records, fields, and images to share, then create and upload the files with the easy-to-use wizard.

As part of the setup, our team will customize your PastPerfect Online site to complement your main website, providing a more cohesive experience for your web visitors. Thanks to our mobile-friendly design, the public can explore your online collection from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. We can even submit your site to Google to help more people find your collection. Hosting starts at just over $1 per day to share 10,000 of your most important artifacts. Additional hosting is available at a reduced rate, allowing you to share everything you’ve cataloged.

To help you get started, we are waiving the one-time site setup fee for new PastPerfect Online users who purchase one year or more of Annual Hosting by May 31, 2023 – a savings of $285! Call 1-800-562-6080 to place your order and mention this email to receive this special offer.

Still have questions? Join us next month on Thursday, May 4, at 1pm Eastern for a free PastPerfect Online webinar. We will review an example site from the visitor's perspective, highlight ways you can customize your site, explore the multiple search functions, and more.

Explore a few of the organizations already using PPO to expand their online presence:

PastPerfect Online is an optional add-on feature for users of our PastPerfect 5.0 desktop collection and contacts management software. If you are looking for a cloud-based software to manage your contacts and collections, check out PastPerfect Web Edition.
Celebrating World Backup Day
We hope you celebrated World Backup Day on March 31st by making a backup of all your files! If not, pick a good time this week and make a backup of your PastPerfect data, images, and multimedia.

We encourage you to make backups of all your files as protection against hardware failure, ransomware, accidents, and natural disasters. We suggest backing up images and multimedia to an external drive or DVD(s) in addition to making data backups on your hard drive. Having a backup routine and sticking to it will save you time and headache if a disaster occurs.

For backup recommendations, please read our Knowledge Base article: PastPerfect Backup Recommendations.
What is the difference between Container Lists and Multilevel Linking in Archives?
Our support team regularly receives the question "How do I use Multilevel Linking and Container Lists?" Both are tools that allow you to organize archival records. Archival collections may be organized into smaller record groups and may be housed in multiple containers.

Multilevel Linking
Multilevel linking allows you to establish a hierarchy of records within an archival collection. A collection may be organized into multiple tiers or "Levels of Description", forming parent/child relationships between the Archive records. The most common levels are Fonds/Collection, Series, Sub-series, Folder, and Item. The record describing the full collection is at the Fonds/Collection level and is considered the parent. Then a collection may be divided into multiple series, which are child records. A series then may be divided into Folders or Sub-series. These are child records of the Series level record. Each of these catalog records should be used to describe that subgroup of the collection. Depending on the scope of the collection and how it is organized and described, you may have fewer or more levels of catalog records.

To build these relationships, create the parent and child records first, making sure to select a "Multilevel Linking Level of Description" (Fonds/Collection, Series, Folder, etc.) for each record. Then go to a child record and click "View/Set Up Links" in the Actions section of the left sidebar. Click "Create Link", enter the Object ID of the parent record and click "Create Link" again. You will see the link established and the parent record's Level and Title.

Container Lists
Creating a Container List on an Archives catalog record allows you to track multiple items within that larger record and what storage container(s) house those items. The Container List can include a list of documents within a folder or a list of folders within a box. Since they are part of a larger Archives record, the Container List records have fewer fields, and individual Object IDs are not needed. Most information for the items/folders is entered in the main Archives catalog record. Information that deviates from the larger record is entered in the Container List record.

You can add container list records on an Archives record by clicking "Container List" in the left sidebar and using the plus sign button above the grid.

For additional information on how to use Multilevel Linking and Container Lists, please read our Knowledge Base article: What is the difference between Container Lists and Multilevel Linking?

The PastPerfect 5.0 User Guide chapter, The Archives Catalog, provides additional information.
PastPerfect Web Edition
New Features in Recent Updates
Our latest update added several new features:

  • Save records to a Catalog List from the Catalog Query Screens, Full Catalog Search, and Search by Lexicon
  • Print reports from Quick Search, Full Catalog Search, and Search by Lexicon
  • Create filters using the "Exhibit Name" field on the Catalogs Query Screen and in Catalog Lists
  • Include the Title on Barcode Labels (without images)
  • Print or save Authority Files to PDF
  • Restrict user access to "Attachments & URLs"
  • Change the Primary Member for any Membership
  • Include Phone Number Type fields as filter and options fields for Contacts

The latest updates included changes for Public Access users:

  • Display Name field added for Attachments & URLs to allow organizations to change text of hyperlink that display on Public Access record
  • Image Viewer uses the image's Caption as link to Image Metadata record if field is selected for public view
  • Public Access checkbox added to the Container List grid on Archives records
  • Site No fields are available fields to select for all catalog records
  • Click-wrap cookies policy added for all sites
  • Export records to share with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

To see a full list of features and fixes from each update, click "Version History" in the footer while you are logged into Web Edition software. You can also find more information about some of these features in the User Guide.
Save Search Results to a Catalog List
With the latest update, you now have the ability to save search results to a Catalog List from the Catalog Query Screens, Full Catalog Search, and Search by Lexicon. When adding records to a Catalog List, you can select an existing list or create a new list.

From Full Catalog Search/Search by Lexicon
  1. Click the magnifying glass icon in the top title bar
  2. Select the type of search
  3. Type in your search criteria or make selections from the drop-down menus and click "Search"
  4. Click "Add to List"
  5. Choose whether to save the records to an existing list or add a new list, then click "Apply"

From Catalog Query Screens
  1. In the navigation bar, select a specific catalog or All Catalogs to search across multiple catalogs
  2. On the Query screen, build your filter and click "Apply"
  3. Click "Add to List"
  4. Select an existing list or add a new list, then click "Apply"

For more information about how to use the different search functions, check out the User Guide topic for Search Functions.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions for adding catalog records to a list, see the User Guide topic for Adding Catalog Records to Catalog List.
Change the Primary Member for a Membership
Memberships may consist of multiple contacts. Each membership has a designated Primary Member to receive renewal notices and household mailings. Other contacts are considered Joint Members. If you need to change the contact who is the Primary Member, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the current Primary Member's contact record
  2. Click "Edit" at the top of the record
  3. Click the Membership accordion bar to expand it
  4. In the Other Contacts Included in the Membership section, click "Change Primary Member"
  5. On the Change Primary Member modal, select the contact who should be the new Primary Member by clicking on their name
  6. Click "Yes" to confirm
  7. The Included in another Membership field will now display the name of the new Primary Member
  8. Click "Save" at the top of the record

When you go to the new Primary Member's contact record, the previous Primary Member will now be listed under Other Contacts included in the Membership. The Dues Payments will now display on the new Primary Member's record as well.
Demonstration Webinar Available Live or On-Demand
Curious about upgrading to PastPerfect Web Edition? We invite you to register for our hour-long, on-demand or live webinars that walk through the collections and contacts capabilities of our cloud-based software. Register for either webinar here:

After the webinar, if you think Web Edition is the right choice for your organization, contact the team at to get started on the next steps.
Online Collections
Collection Spotlight
Staff Pick
We are asking each of our staff to choose a favorite item from one of the many online collections. This artifact was selected from the online collection of the La Crosse County Historical Society by Ginger because:

"Traveling and experiencing different cultures and geology around the world is something I really enjoy. This item makes me think of a recent trip where I got to see the Sahara desert for the first time and rode my first camel. I would have loved to have found a souvenir like this to bring home."