The Collections Trust has launched an innovative free online service which allows museum and arts professionals to compare the features of leading Collections Management Systems (CMS). The new platform helps museums and galleries find the right software for their needs across more than 40 different criteria, saving them time and money, and supporting their future development.
The service provides access to the latest information from the Collections Trust’s Software Survey 2012-13, with detailed specifications for SPECTRUM Partner systems. Users can compare the features of up to four systems at a time, vastly simplifying the procurement process.
The comparison service will help those seeking to acquire or change their CMS, and those who just want to compare their current system against others. Among vital areas covered are costs, training, interoperability, format support, and user references.
Collections Trust Partnerships Manager Laura Whitton says: “Choosing a collections management system is a hugely important task, and requires careful deliberation in so many areas. It is likely to be a long-term investment at the heart of an institution’s collections management strategy.
“By updating the Survey and introducing this new functionality, the Collections Trust is supporting organisations by providing a unique and helpful starting point which saves time and money. It also guarantees the SPECTRUM Partner standard.”
The Collections Trust manages SPECTRUM worldwide. It is the world’s leading independent professional organisation for Collections Management, and works with museums, archives, libraries, galleries, historic properties and private collectors to shape and promote best practice for Collections and their users.
Through the SPECTRUM Partners Scheme, collection and digital asset management software vendors obtain a licence for the commercial use of SPECTRUM within their systems. Only SPECTRUM Partners can state they are “SPECTRUM Compliant”, following a rigorous formal testing process to ensure their system can support the internationally acknowledged SPECTRUM Standard.
Visit the CMS Software Survey at www.collectionslink.org.uk/softwaresurvey
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I am delighted to announce the first six workshops in National Museums Scotland’s Knowledge Exchange programme for 2013/14. These will run between July and October 2013, and, as always, attendance is free. The topics will be as follows:
Introduction to Fossil collections
Date 10 July 2013
Venue National Museums Collections Centre, Granton, Edinburgh
Do you have fossils in your collection but are unsure how to document and care for them? Would you like to develop some of the basic knowledge and skills required to assist you in caring for and documenting your fossil collection?
Introduction to Hieroglyphics
Date 20 August 2013
Venue McManus Museum and Gallery, Dundee
Do you have objects with hieroglyphs on them in your collection? Would you like to develop your knowledge of hieroglyphs and gain some basic skills in their interpretation? Would you like the opportunity to explore connections with other Scottish Egyptology collections?
Display and Interpretation of Natural History Collections
Date 3 September 2013
Venue National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Do you have natural history objects in your collections that you would like to display? Would you like guidance on the themes and stories that you can tell with your natural history collections? Natural History collections have links with all areas of our collections, but the lack of specialist curators means that their interpretation is often overlooked.
Introduction to Hazards in Museum Collections
Date 10 September 2013
Venue National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh
Museum objects can be made from components which may be toxic or have the potential to become toxic over time. This includes poisonous metals, radiation and asbestos. It is important that people working with museum collections are aware of the hazards that can be associated with different types of materials to allow them to manage this risk appropriately.
Object Handling and Packing
Date 1 October 2013
Venue National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Museum objects are at high risk of accidental damage when they are being handled or moved. Damage caused by handling can also be cumulative and not immediately apparent to the user. It is therefore important to know how to handle all objects in the correct and most appropriate way.
Basics of Couriering
Date 15 October 2013
Venue Learning Centre, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh
Couriers are often required when moving objects between venues for loans or on research, whether for short or long term loan. Costs associated with couriers and transport of objects can be high, often making a loan of an object impossible. Would you like to develop the practical skills and knowledge to courier objects from your collections safely and efficiently? The courier’s role involves much more than ensuring the safe transit of an object to its destination, and this course aims to increase awareness of the different responsibilities of a courier before, during and after the job.
To find out more information or to book a place on any of these courses, please go to visit our website here http://www.nms.ac.uk/making_connections/support_for_museums/knowledge_exchange_training/upcoming_courses.aspx . Alternatively you can contact me for course briefs or for a booking form in word format.
NMS’s Knowledge Exchange Program aims to support the development of curatorial confidence across Scotland and ensure good dialogue between National Museums Scotland and the wider sector. We want to find the best mechanism to respond to collections needs, and to achieve this we are happy to run workshops in any part of Scotland. If you would like us to run a workshop locally, please get in touch. Information on courses that we have run in past can be found here
If you have any questions do not hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to seeing you at an event soon.
With best wishes,
National Partnerships Officer
National Museums Scotland
t: +44 (0)131 247 4024
f: +44 (0)131 247 4315