At Florida State University’s School of Information, we use CollectionSpace in our online graduate course on Museum Informatics. In that class, we spend several weeks on information systems and collections management in museums, and during those weeks, the students have the chance to apply what they’ve learned by creating records in a CollectionSpace instance kindly hosted by LYRASIS.
For this assignment, each student is asked to pick an object (their choice), and create a series of (hypothetical) procedural records for that object that simulate the process of accessioning this object into a museum, filling out condition reports, uploading images, sending the object out on loan, and finally deaccessioning the object — creating reports and following appropriate standards and best practices at each step along the way.
The students really appreciate the flexibility that CollectionSpace offers, along with the opportunities for customization and the ability to work with the system directly in their web browsers. And I greatly enjoy following the journey of my students’ objects through their hypothetical museums by reading their CollectionSpace records!
For example, here is a sample CollectionSpace record created by Jason Anfinsen, a former student in Museum Informatics who graduated with his master’s degree from Florida State University, and now works as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Broward College and Florida Atlantic University. You can see that, for this object, the student created fourteen different procedural records tracking this object through its collections management journey, including acquisition, media handling, condition check, conservation, exhibition, loan in, loan out, and object exit records.