One of the goals of the CollectionSpace project is to develop a platform for a collections information system. Within that platform, we intend to deliver a set of modular solutions and services that match functional requirements for managing museum collections and publishing them for various use-cases. Rather than develop a traditional collections management system, however, we are interested in pursuing a service oriented solution so as to take advantage of new open source technologies that to date, have not been used within the museum community. By creating services tailored to specific tasks that museums engage in daily, such as acquisitions, loans, inventory, audit, we will be better able to develop flexible, customizable, and extensible solutions to fit a wide range of staff needs, collection types, and institutional sizes.
The CollectionSpace functional team is working toward delivering an application that is:
An expansive list possible functional requirements was compiled in 2009 and informed our point of departure for the identification and prioritization of functionality that would be developed. Since then, functional requirements and priorities have been refined based on community feedback and end-user needs. The project team is always interested in institutional use cases which help us expand our functional requirements, create inclusive designs, and develop services that accurately reflect our community's needs. We welcome you to add your institutional use-case to any of the pages listed below.
Development activities have been on-going since 2009. CollectionSpace Phase One (2009-2010) centered on a subset of eight SPECTRUM procedures (workflows): Object Entry, Acquisition, Location and movement control, Cataloging, Object exit, Loans in, Loans out, and Retrospective documentation. Functional requirements for the eight procedures, along with requirements for functionality that supports the procedures, are below. Phase Two (2010-2011) focused on support for media handling, hierarchical vocabularies, delete, import, export, and groups and Phase Three (2012) provided additional support for advanced search, structured objects, locations, movements and inventory, as well as for management of thesauri and controlled vocabularies.
The first development milestone, reached in the spring of 2009, represented a significant integration effort of various tools and technologies around the core procedure of object entry. This work established the groundwork for ongoing development, and included: resolving technology stacks; developing and testing tools and workflows; designing and implementing the testing strategy; setup of the code repository and commit standards; installation and experimentation with development platforms; finalizing service families and detailing the initial service contracts; establishing lightweight governance mechanisms for services shared with other projects such as Kuali Student Services (KSS); designing the configuration and customization language and tools; and prototyping the application's user interface with Fluid/Infusion tools.
As the system design and development process moves along, the language used by the CollectionSpace team will change and evolve. Below is a list of commonly used terms/concepts in the functional requirements, all of which are subject to change as a result of testing and user feedback.
- : Used as shorthand for single objects, groups of objects, objects with physical and digital form, parts of objects, and so on. An object record may describe a box of unidentified sherds, or a single painting.
- : Used to capture and manage information with extrinsic relationships to object records, such as authority files, thesauri, storage locations, and support media. Support media records are used to capture and manage information about images, documents, audio, video, and other media added to support or represent object, procedural, and organizational records.
- : Used to capture and manage information that revolves around a specific collections management workflow such as intake, acquisition, loans, or cataloging.