The museum’s database
The documentation of the collection is among the main tasks of the museum. The basic academic documentation is included in paper catalogues, superseded in 2002 with an electronic catalogue. A series of catalogues of museum collections published by Wawel Royal Castle presents complete information about particular museum exhibits or their collections, including academic discussion and a bibliography. So far the following catalogues have been published:
- M. Skubiszewska, Italian painting in the Wawel collection, Kraków 1973
- M. Piątkiewicz-Dereniowa, Italian majolica in the Wawel collection, Kraków 1975
- M. Piątkiewicz-Dereniowa, Meissen china in the Wawel collection, v. 1-2, Kraków 1983
- M. Piątkiewicz-Dereniowa, Delft faience in the Wawel Royal Castle collection, Kraków 1996
- Fischinger, D. Nowacki, Goldsmithery in the old Royal and Princely Prussia in the Wawel Royal Castle collection, Kraków 2000
- M. Hennel-Bernasikowa, Tapestries from the 15th to the 19th c. in Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków 2000
- J. Winiewicz-Wolska, Dutch painting in Wawel Royal Castle collection, Kraków 2001
Temporary exhibition catalogues are of a similar character.
Works on collections or particular works of art and historic mementos are also included in other Wawel publications, e.g. "Study of Wawel history" v, 1-4 (complete series), "Studia Waweliana" - an annual publication and the "Wawel Library" series.
Musnet - electronic catalogue of artistic collection
The most important achievement in the field of documenting museum exhibits was cataloguing the entire artistic collection of Wawel Royal Castle thanks to the use of digital technology – Musnet software. Since 2005 Wawel, as the first museum in Poland, has a complete electronic database, in which each object has a consistent text description including extensive information and a photograph.
Using the Musnet software has improved the quality of work in the museum, as information can be obtained quickly, infallibly and simply, thanks to the use of full text search. The museum employee’s work is facilitated by the elimination of repetitive actions.
The electronic catalogue is very important for academic study, as it contains a considerable amount of knowledge on art and history, and for an efficient administration of the whole collection.
Musnet software is a result of cooperation between art historians and computer scientists (Wawel and the Infogenia company) and has become a blueprint for commercial software, used by several dozen museums in Poland and abroad (e.g. in France).