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:
- A core resource, used to manage every aspect of a collection - from location and condition to display and dispatch;
- Familiar to its core users, reflecting the way they interact with collections each day;
- A tool for collecting insight and knowledge in order to build a collective intelligence;
- A way to bridge gaps between a museum and its community; and
- A way to de-couple information process and function, reconciling conflicting information uses within an institution.
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.
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.
- Objects: 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.
- Organizational records: 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.
- Procedural records: Used to capture and manage information that revolves around a specific collections management workflow such as intake, acquisition, loans, or cataloging.