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Open-Source Museum Software

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Kaia Landon Kaia Landon 1 year, 9 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Kimberly Arthur
    Kimberly Arthur


    Has anyone heard or had great experience with open-source museum management software? I will be managing an art collection that is not a part of our museum collection, and there is no intention to accession it into the museum. I did a Google search, but as most searches, received a lot back. I figured I’d ask first.


    Profile photo of Joe German
    Joe German

    You might take a look at the Museum Archive software project: http://www.musarch.com/

    My local history society is looking at converting our Excel inventory listing to it. I don’t know that it is a true open-source system where you can modify the code but it seems pretty flexible so you may not need that anyway. The basic edition is free and the premium edition requires purchase of the developer’s book on the system (about $25 on Amazon). It’s a pretty basic system if that is adequate for your needs.

    Profile photo of Ronald Heroux
    Ronald Heroux

    I use Musarch for our small historical society.  It is easy to use and meets our needs.

    Profile photo of Leann Pelvit
    Leann Pelvit

    We have been using Past Perfect for seven years and really like it. It is user friendly and gives you many options as to the type of collections and the statues.

    Profile photo of Kaia Landon
    Kaia Landon

    Some questions:

    Do you need the collection to be available to the public online?
    What other sorts of features do you need?
    What other sorts of features do you want?
    How large is the collection?

    Depending on your needs, your best option might be to put it in your existing database as a loan, or whatever non-accessioned terminology seems fitting.

    MusArch is not open source.

    If the collection is small, and you’re not insistent on open source, you might look at eHive.

    CollectionSpace and CollectiveAccess are the two main  open source collections management systems that I’m familiar with. We are in the process of transitioning from PastPerfect to CollectiveAccess, and we like CA more every day. It’s very flexible, customizable, and includes a lot of features we find helpful.

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