What is CollectionSpace?

CollectionSpace is a high-quality, industry-leading collections management application backed by an internationally recognized non-profit committed to advancing the field of museology. The CollectionSpace team and community is made up of museum professionals, software engineers, and interaction designers. back to top

What does the software do?

Highlights of Features/Functionality

  • Standards-based collections management with support for cataloging, accession and deaccession workflows, loans, exhibitions, location management, and more.
  • Robust tools to store and describe a wide variety of digital assets, including images, documents, audio, and video files.
  • Custom and imported authorities to manage people, organizations, places, concepts, and more.
  • Full-text search and indexing backed by a powerful Elasticsearch engine.
  • A library of pre-built reports and integration with Jaspersoft, an open-source reporting tool for custom forms and reports.
  • Customizable data entry screens and templates.
  • Web-based interface with no limit on user accounts.

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Are CollectionSpace schema / data dictionaries available for viewing and download?

Yes, all schema currently in-use, under consideration, and in-progress are available from the program wikiback to top

Is the software user-friendly?

CollectionSpace is committed to the principles of user-centered design. Our environments are developed to match the needs of real users, and our software is accessible and usable. Take the guided tour or try the online demo to see for yourself how easy CollectionSpace is to use. back to top

When can I start using CollectionSpace for my collections?

CollectionSpace is ready to use today. Visit the demo site to test-drive the software, or our download page for installation instructions. A complete list of system requirements for CollectionSpace is available on the wikiback to top

What types of technical skills are required in order to install and configure CollectionSpace?

The CollectionSpace platform is built upon Nuxeo, an open-source content management system. The services architecture is based on Apache Tomcat and a relational database such as PostgreSQL or MySQL; the server-side interface layer is built with Java; and the client-side (or user) interface is developed in HTML and Javascript. Schema are defined using XML.

Installing CollectionSpace requires someone comfortable with a command line interface and package manager (for Linux and Mac installations), and who has some familiarity with editing text files.

Configuration, or changing the behavior and the look and feel of the system, can be accomplished by making changes on web-based Administration pages and by editing the text files (HTML templates, CSS stylesheets, configuration files, etc.) that control its behavior and appearance. Familiarity with HTML, CSS, command line interfaces, and editing text files is required.

More extensive customizations that extend the system’s functionality require familiarity with Java for the service and server-side interface layers. Client-side customizations require knowledge of HTML, CSS, and the React.js JavaScript framework. back to top

Who will support us if we try to install CollectionSpace?

There are a variety of options for CollectionSpace support services.

  1. Ask other CollectionSpace users
  2. Work with the program staff
  3. Work with LYRASIS 
  4. All of the above

Start by asking questions, engaging in conversation, and learning from colleagues on the Talk list. The CollectionSpace Talk list is an email list that is specifically focused on the needs of implementers. We want to hear from you and help you with your installation, and we want to encourage anyone who has already implemented to join in the conversation as well to share their experience. We encourage you to join the Talk list, post your questions, and join the conversation!

Implementers use many different solutions for managing CollectionSpace, including in-house staff, developers hired for a specific period to install and configure the software, consultants to manage data mapping and gap analyses, and service providers who manage the entire process. To learn more about hosting and support offerings, you can visit the LYRASIS services page. back to top

When will versions of the software and documentation be available in other languages?

Our technology stack was designed to handle Unicode from the outset, ensuring that a full range of languages can be supported from the user interface all the way down to the database. Current versions of the software support an English-language User Interface, but any language can be used for museum information (metadata), and internationalization of many aspects is supported upon configuration. The system separates the labels and other language used to generate the UI into a separate resource, to facilitate translation. Translation projects are an excellent opportunity for those who are not software developers to contribute to the community! back to top

Is the software open source?

CollectionSpace is open-source software, licensed for use pursuant to the Educational Community License v. 2.0. Learn more about the ECL. The source code is freely available. back to top