Today’s collections management systems cannot stand alone from other technologies used by museums and other collecting organizations to connect and interact with their audiences.
CollectionSpace was designed from the outset to be connected with other open-source tools and efforts such as digital asset management and preservation systems, federated search harvesters, linked open data repositories, and virtual shared collections.
In this session, Richard Millet, Technical Lead and Chad Nelson, Developer will provide an overview of the CollectionSpace technical platform and discuss how the application architecture facilitates integrating linked open data such as the Getty Research Institute’s Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)(r).
The CollectionSpace program team working closely with three partners that represent the contemporary art practice community – Oakland Museum of California, Museum of the Moving Image, and The Watermill Center – are collaborating to define functional and interaction requirements, test technical development, and implement the proposed solution at their institutions. The goal of the project is to provide cataloguers, curators, registrars, and collection managers who use CollectionSpace with linked open data powered controlled vocabularies within their local environments the opportunity to share data sets and collectively present their collections in unique ways.
Controlled vocabularies support search and retrieval of information from collections management systems. They are active resources, constantly updated and modified to reflect new knowledge. Museums either license and import controlled vocabularies into their collections management systems or manually build local lists. Drawbacks to these approaches include lack of access to the most updated terms between imports, lack of standardization, and the excessive size of some lists. Linked open data makes it possible to have a live link to a controlled vocabulary, allowing access to the most up-to-date information on an as-needed basis, while greatly reducing the amount of reconciliation needed as vocabularies are updated. It also makes it easier to access and share controlled vocabularies across multiple applications that may be in use in the museum or affiliated operations such as libraries and archives, supporting federated searching across collections. Improving access to controlled vocabularies via linked open data improves the museum’s ability to properly describe collections, enables the museum to benefit from participation in shared resources, and advances scholarship in the museum community via contribution to these shared resources.
We are a community-driven collaborative, generating transformative change in the way we manage collections and use information technologies to support our work. Working together, CollectionSpace members are building a new solution for collections-holding institutions that is efficient, effective, customizable, intuitive, and affordable. CollectionSpace is a free, web-based, open-source collections management system. From cataloging and loans to inventory and valuation, CollectionSpace is used to manage many of the day-to-day activities of museum professionals and others who work with objects, artifacts, specimens, and more. CollectionSpace is licensed via the Educational Community License (ECL) v2, and all code repositories are available for anonymous, read-only access via GitHub. To learn more, visit us at www.collectionspace.org.